• Question: When a tornado hits, what happens to things which are sucked up inside? Are they just dropped off somewhere else?

    Asked by mimi317 to Davie, James P, James V, Nuala on 4 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: James Verdon

      James Verdon answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      Hi mimi,

      I think so, yes. They are sucked up and blown about by the wind. Because of the strength of the wind, they can be blown for miles, and quite high up into the air. The tornado will have sucked up huge amounts of debris, so chances are that if you get sucked into one, you’ll get hit by the other debris travelling at hundreds of miles an hour, and that will be enough to kill you. Eventually, when the tornado loses speed, you’re right, everything will be just dropped back to the ground.

      The best thing you can do during a tornado is to get into the basement – most homes in the USA in areas where tornadoes hit have basement storm shelters where people can go if a tornado comes near. If you’re outside, getting low to the ground, perhaps in a ditch, is the best option.

    • Photo: James Pope

      James Pope answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      Hi mimi317,

      Yep, as James V says everything a tornado whirls round in it’s spinning air will either be thrown out during the tornado or be dropped to earth when the tornado ends. Falling debris can be very dangerous also when the Tornado ends!