Filed Under:Claims, Catastrophe & Restoration

All About Tornadoes

Corrected, 5/22, 12:16 p.m.

Wreckage of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, Pool)
Wreckage of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, Pool)

A devastating tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, killing at least 24 and leaving the city looking like “a debris field,” according to comments Mayor Glenn Lewis made to NBC.

The tornado was one of at least 22 tornadoes that struck across six states on Monday, a day after a northeast-moving storm spawned over 20 tornadoes through Texas, Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

What Is a Tornado?

 

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm and comes into contact with the ground, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In an average year, NOAA says about 1,000 tornadoes are reported nationwide. 

2008-2010

A tornado funnel cloud touches down in Orchard, Iowa on June 10, 2008 (AP Photo/Lori Mehmen)

2011

 

2012-2013

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