Tornado Super Cell Storm

What Happens If You Get Sucked Into A Tornado?

Tornadoes can be extremely powerful and cause serious destruction. With winds going above 250mph, you can only imagine what it can do if you get sucked into it.

Fast enough to rip the roofs off buildings, overturn vehicles and de-rail trains but everything about tornadoes screams danger.

Can You Survive Inside a Tornado?

Few have ever been lifted into a tornado and survived. The force of the wind is just so enormous and the human body so fragile. A skydiver had the misfortune to get trapped in a spinning cold air vortex and although frozen and unconscious when found miles away, she lived to tell the tale.

Although a person lifted by a tornado will get to experience similar rotating winds with the pressure and the debris a tornado gathers, they would be unlikely to survive. Statistically, most loss of life during a tornado is due to flying debris, flooding or collapsing buildings.

What Happens If You Get Sucked Into a Tornado?

People have been swept across distances by tornados and others picked up into the funnel and carried for a short while.

Very few have been lifted into the vortex proper. Survivors reported a sudden drop in pressure, droning or humming, sulfur smells, and whatever the tornado last digested.

Physical Trauma

Some sort of physical trauma is a certainty, mostly likely a blunt force injury as the wind buffers the body and debris bombards it with enough force to shatter bones and destroy internal organs.

Just as she was, the person in a tornado would be carried up high into the colder thinner air by the raging updraft. Not only will the person succumb to the intense sudden cold and thin air, but when the current can no longer support them, they fatally drop back to earth.

Impact on the Respiratory System

Even without broken ribs and the presence of mind to keep breathing, catching your breath inside a tornado is difficult. The air is less dense and thinner containing less oxygen like the air on mountain tops. Like high mountains, tornados have a ‘death zone’ with very low oxygen levels.

A person will be gasping for air, and there is no doubt about that. But, with every breath they will be breathing in minute particles of dust containing all kinds of matter and the potential to cause long term damage to the respiratory system.

Psychological Trauma

Not surprisingly, there are psychological repercussions for those who survive being taken by a tornado.

Some relish the experience describing it as life changing, others find their near-death experience traumatic and recover physically only to be left with PTSD.


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