By: Steven Powell, Journalist

Tornadoes are one of the scariest natural phenomena, yet also one of the most awe-inspiring. These swirling gray weather monsters can dish out a good amount of death and destruction. There are over 800 tornadoes a year, resulting in around 80 deaths and 1500 injuries. But how are they formed?

Tornadoes are formed when dry, cold air clashes with humid, warm air. The dry, cold air is pushed above the warm air. Most of the time, this results in thunderstorms. Sometimes, the warm air rises up through the cold air. This is called an updraft. The updraft will begin to spin if the winds are very speedy and precise. This causes the huge spinning monster, the tornado.

Meteorologists can identify tornadoes before they are formed using radars. They can send out tornado warnings if they think that the winds might produce a tornado. Tornadoes form most often in the Central Plains of North America. Just like in the Wizard of Oz, tornadoes do occur pretty frequently in Kansas, amounting to about 88 per year.