Skip to main content

Fun Facts: Wind & Tornadoes

Ever wondered what the highest wind every recorded on Earth is? Or how far the longest-lasting tornado traveled?

Explore fascinating fun facts about wind and tornadoes below.


-In 1996, Tropical Cyclone Olivia produced winds of 253 mph in Australia. This is the world record for the strongest non-tornado wind

-The strongest wind not associated with a tornado or a tropical cyclone was recorded on Mount Washington, at 1:21pm on April 12, 1934, when a 231 mph wind gust was observed

Winds during Tropical Cyclone Olivia in 1996

-A human can be moved by a 70 mph wind, while a car would need a 90 mph wind


-The longest lasting tornado, which is also the farthest a single tornado traveled, was on March 18, 1925. It kept going for three and half hours, covering 219 miles. 

-Often, tornadoes produce winds of 70 to 110 mph, which while destructive, aren't catastrophic. 

-It is very difficult to measure the winds in very powerful tornadoes since weather instruments will get destroyed from the winds. But mobile Doppler radar systems are able to collect measurements of winds

-The highest wind every recorded was 318 mph, on May 3, 1999, near Bridge Creek and Moore, Oklahoma. 

-Tornadoes typically move at about 10 to 20 mph, though it can be much faster or slower.