Twister, cyclone, and tornado are all names for the same kind of storm. Whatever name you use, it is powerful, frightening and can cause much damage.
Some of the clouds in the storm grow large and from a funnel shape. The funnel is very thick and usually black. It is formed when cold air rushes quickly and spins around. As the tornado twists, storm winds push it across the land. The small end of the funnel touches down on the earth at times.
The center of the tornado causes a lot of damage. The air pressure in the funnel is much lower than the outside pressure. This makes the tornado act like giant vacuum cleaner. It can pull trees by their roots. It can rip roofs off buildings and toss cars around. Buildings caught by the center of the funnel can explode. There may be lighting, thunder, and heavy rain also.
People who live where tornadoes happen must be prepared. They need a place to go during the storm. Many homes have storm cellars underground where the family stays until the tornado passes.
Almost all tornadoes happen in the United States. They happen most often during spring and early summer. Tornado watchers can give warnings about conditions that might produce a tornado, but the exact location and path of it is impossible forecast.
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