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Weather Works: Can low pressure from tornadoes cause buildings to explode?

Meteorologist Taylor Stephenson tackles the truth behind tornado damage on this episode of Weather Myths.

MACON, Ga. — During severe weather seasons in both the spring and fall, one of the main concerns is the possibility for tornadoes and the destruction they bring. What causes all the structural damage from a tornado though?

Meteorologist Taylor Stephenson tackles the truth behind tornado damage and how your weather really works.

Fall is considered a second severe weather season where tornadoes may be possible. There's a myth about tornadoes that goes: "Low pressure from a tornado can cause buildings to explode as it passes overhead."

That is NOT the case. It's the strong winds from the rotating funnel that cause most of the damage we see in tornadoes.

Tornadoes are rated from EF0 to EF5 based on their wind gusts and storm damage.

For an EF0 tornado, three-second wind gusts need to range between 65-85 mph. To hit the mark as the most violent tornado, an EF5, the three-second gusts need to be upwards of 200 mph.

These winds alone can rip roofs off buildings, or even move entire houses off their foundations.

Additionally, the winds can stir up debris. If the debris is large enough, the speed at which the debris is flying, plus its size, can strike and damage nearby structures.

Some tornadoes are so powerful that the debris they pick up can be full-sized cars. Imagine that slamming into a building! So, NO, low pressure from tornadoes does not cause buildings to explode. It's all about that wind. That's how your weather works!

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