Tornado Facts for Kids – Learning About Tornados

These tornado facts for kids are a great way for children to learn more about tornados. They will help teach kids about how they start to why they occur and more.

So far, in our fun fact series, we have featured facts about fish and dolphins. We haven’t touched on the weather yet, except for these fun weather crafts and activities, and that is one of the things we wanted to do for the fun fact series.

Tornado Facts for Kids – Learning About Tornados

So this week, we are featuring and learning about educational tornado facts for kids. These facts about tornados will help kids learn more about them and hopefully get more interested in science and weather.

What is a tornado?

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that rotates, in a funnel like shape, and touches the ground. Tornados are one of nature’s most violent storms. They come in various shapes and sizes and are usually attached to the base of a severe or dangerous thunderstorm.

How Do Tornados Form?

A tornado forms when warm moist air and cool dry air meet. When these two air masses meet, they clash and create instability in the atmosphere.

You may also like these weather writing prompts.

What are some warning signs of a tornado?

There are a few signs that you may see or hear when a tornado is forming or has touched the ground. With a thunderstorm, you will typically have hail, a dark greenish sky, you’ll see a funnel cloud that comes down from the storm, and you will hear a loud roar. Many explain the roar as a waterfall or a sound that sounds like a freight train. It can be very spooky and scary, especially for kids.

10 Interesting Tornado Facts for Kids

When it comes to learning about tornados, there were so many different facts kids could learn. We had a hard time narrowing it down to just 10 so we are featuring the most important facts about tornados.

  1. Tornadoes are violent columns of air that rotate and reach from a storm cloud (or thunderstorm) to the ground.
  2. Some tornadoes can stay on the ground for more than an hour. However, most tornados last for a few seconds or a few minutes.
  3. Tornado winds are so strong that they destroy things in their path.
  4. A tornado that occurs over the water is called a waterspout.
  5. The Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale) was developed to measure the strength or damage intensity of a tornado.
  6. When conditions are right for a tornado to form it’s called a Tornado Watch. A Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been spotted in your area.
  7. NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office issues the warning and watches. This is a group of meteorologists and weather spotters that are always monitoring the weather.
  8. There are two types of tornadoes. Supercell (most common and most dangerous) and Non-Supercell (weaker and short-lived).
  9. With a tornado, wind speeds can reach up to 300 miles per hour.
  10. The people who study tornadoes are research meteorologists or atmospheric scientists. You may also hear them called “spotters or storm chasers”
Tornado Facts for Kids Free Printable

More Tornado Fun Facts

  1. Tornadoes can vary in size. You’ll see tornados range from just a few feet to more than a mile wide. The longer bigger the tornado, the more devastating damage can be done.
  2. Tornadoes are most common in the United States. There is even an area that is known as Tornado Alley. Tornado Alley includes parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota.
  3. In 1999, one of the fastest tornados on record had measured wind speeds of 302 miles per hour.
  4. Tornadoes can lift heavy objects like cars, trees, and even houses and carry them for miles.
  5. The United States experiences an average of about 1,200 tornadoes per year.

When it comes to learning more about tornados, it’s important to also teach kids some tornado safety tips. Because tornados can be very dangerous and unpredictable, these safety tips for tornados will help kids and adults be more prepared.

Tornado Safety Tips Kids Should Know

  • One of the most important things you can do is to have a plan in place for what to do if a tornado warning is issued. This means you will want to find a safe place to take shelter, such as a basement, storm cellar, or interior room on the lowest level of a building.
  • You will also want to be sure that you stay up-to-date on the latest weather conditions. You can do this by listening to a NOAA Weather Radio, watching local news, or using a weather app on your phone.
  • If a tornado warning is issued, take shelter immediately. To keep yourself safe, move to the lowest level of the building and get to an interior room that doesn’t have any windows. If you are in a mobile home, leave and find a sturdy building to take shelter in.
  • Since wind speeds can be so high that debris will be flying everywhere and structures will be coming down, you will want to protect yourself when you take cover. Use blankets, pillows, or a mattress to cover yourself and protect against flying debris.
  • Don’t try to go outside or move around. Instead, stay in your safe location until the tornado has passed and it is safe to leave. This is typically once the tornado warning has expired. Do not try to go outside or leave the building until you are sure it is safe to do so.

One of the best ways to prepare for tornados is to do tornado drills. These are practice drills that you can do so that everyone knows what to do. Follow the safety plan for the drills so that you can prepare, plan, and stay safe.

Interesting Tornado Fun Facts for Kids

As we were learning more about tornados, having a list of fun facts for the kids really made it more interesting for them.

They loved the little tidbits of information and listing the info as facts, really seemed to help them understand and remember it better.

Our next tornado project will be a tornado science experiment that we can do at home. I really think the kids will enjoy this experiment and it will go hand in hand as we learn more about tornados and the weather.

Hopefully, your kiddos will find these tornado facts for kids interesting as they learn more about them! Pair them up with some experiments and audiobooks and you have a pretty fun learning lesson on tornados!

Printable Tornado Fact Sheet & Activity

Printable Tornado Fact Sheet

Download the free printable here.

Since tornados mostly happen in the summer months, grab this free summer word search or summer bingo game as another activity.

Check out these free homeschool resources for even more learning!

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