Tornadoes do not always reach Earth’s surface, but given enough strength, the point of the funnel touches down.
The winds devour almost anything in their path by sucking them up into the funnel, whirling them around, and sending them crashing back to Earth.
Stories abound of objects such as train cars being lifted, rotated, and returned to Earth; forks and bicycles being embedded in trees; whole lakes—fish, plants, and all—being sucked into the funnel.
Tornado damage results not only from severe winds and blowing debris, but from drastic low pressure. Objects, such as houses, caught in a tornado’s path can literally explode because the air pressure within them is so much higher than the tornado’s. Air pressure constantly tries to even itself out.
The seemingly odd safety precaution of opening windows when a tornado approaches makes good sense. It helps to even out the pressure.
A 1917 tornado in Texas spun out of control for 7 hours.