How big is a tornado?


Quick Answer

A tornado path, or the width of the tornado on the ground, can range from as small as 10 yards to in excess of a mile. Widths can vary greatly even over the life of a single tornado, as each individual twister often undergoes rapid changes.

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Full Answer

The National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office reports that the path of a tornado can last from just a few yards to over 100 miles depending on numerous simultaneous weather factors. The average tornado has a damage path of 1 or 2 miles and a width of around 50 yards. It is important to remember that the size of a tornado is not necessarily an indication of its strength, as large tornadoes can be relatively weak, and smaller ones could be violent.

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