A tornado is most distinguishable from other types of storms by its tall, rotating funnel that extends down from a dark cloud known as a cumuliform cloud. The bottom of the funnel contacts the ground, and the fast rotations of the funnel destroy anything in the tornado's path.
The rotating column of air around a tornado funnel is called a vortex and can be up to 300 meters in width. Interior wind speeds in a tornado range from 40 miles per hour to 300 miles per hour. The width and speed of a tornado impact the severity of destruction left in its wake.