A tornado is a violent rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.
The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of up to 300 mph.
Tornadoes can destroy large buildings, uproot trees and hurl vehicles hundreds of yards.
Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide to 50 miles long.
In an average year, 1000 tornadoes are reported nationwide.