what would a tornado do to a skyscraper

Let’s take a look at the question: What would a tornado do to a skyscraper? that just keeps going on, shall we…

If a tornado were to come to the city of New York and start spinning, the skyscraper from 8 Spruce Street would be seriously affected.

But what if it was a hurricane? What if it was a snowstorm? This is incredibly fun to think about and freaks people out.

According to conventional wisdom, skyscrapers are structurally strong enough to withstand even the most potent tornadoes. However strong winds, air pressure fluctuations, and flying objects could cause its exterior parts to collapse.

Do Skyscrapers Prevent Tornadoes From Hitting?

do skyscrapers prevent tornado

The short answer is no. While there is no doubt that cities have a greater capacity to withstand the damage from tornadoes than rural areas do. 

This doesn’t mean that skyscrapers are to blame for their absence. In fact, it’s not even clear that skyscrapers cause tornadoes at all.

In order to understand why this may be so, we need to look at what causes tornadoes in the first place.

What happens when a storm becomes strong enough to form a tornado? If you’re like me, you probably think of an invisible monster with teeth and claws, but you’d be wrong. 

Tornadoes aren't born out of monsters; they're born out of circulation and friction heating within the atmosphere. 

This friction comes from wind blowing over mountains or other obstacles, causing air currents and heat to build up along its path.

And this is why it’s called “wind shear”. 

As long as this build-up continues, there will be enough energy left over for thunderstorms (raindrops) and twisters (tornadoes).

Skyscrapers Against Tornadoes & Other Buildings

skyscrapers against tornado

This is because skyscrapers are designed with the intention of making it harder for the tornado to damage them in a way that would cause structural damage.

But that doesn’t mean that they’re impossible to hit!

Tornadoes are actually pretty common in areas that have a lot of skyscrapers, but they’re not as common in areas without them. 

When a tornado hits one of these areas, it can be significantly weaker than when it hits an area without many skyscrapers. 

In fact, some scientists say that removing all the buildings from an area could reduce the strength of a tornado by up to 90%.

Can A Tornado Take Down A Skyscraper?

The short answer is yes! at least, in theory. A tornado can certainly lift a building and move it in any direction.

It’s even possible for the tornado to completely destroy a large building, like a skyscraper or factory. 

Some research has shown that tornadoes have caused damage to skyscrapers in the past.

can tornado take down skyscrapers

But it’s not just the wind that causes these problems. The speed at which a tornado moves also matters. 

If a tornado moves at around 100 mph when it hits a building, then it may not be able to move it far enough away from its original position before striking again.

Speed And Size Matters

In addition to speed, size also matters when it comes to how much damage tornadoes can do to buildings.

A large skyscraper will have more surface area than smaller structures. 

So it will take longer for winds from one part of such an object to travel across another part than they would if they were traveling through less material (like air).

Tornadoes are mobile and can move quickly while causing a lot of damage before moving on to another target.

Note: This means that tornadoes are capable of pushing aside or destroying large buildings like factories and skyscrapers.

Ways To Prevent A Building From Tornado

prevent building from a tornado

There are several factors that go into it, and we’ll discuss them below:

The Building Has To Be Built ON Natural Land

The building has to be built on natural land, not on top of another building.

This means that if the building is on ground level, it should be able to withstand a tornado’s force.

However, if it’s built on top of an existing structure, such as a parking garage, then there’s nothing for the tornado to grip onto. So it will simply topple over instead.

The Building Must be Made Out Of Strong Materials

The building must be made out of strong materials (like steel or concrete) so that it can withstand the force of being hit by a tornado.

If you have a weak material like wood or glass in your skyscraper, then you’re going to have problems when tornadoes come around! 

Tip: If possible, try to avoid using these types of materials at all costs!

Know The Shape Your Tower Will Be In When Tornadoes Approach

know the shape of tower

If possible, try to find out what kind of shape your tower will be in when tornadoes approach.

This will help you decide whether or not you need an emergency plan in place. 

For example, if your tower is a cylinder shape, then it will be able to withstand the force of a tornado better than if it were a square.

If your tower is made out of round bricks, then you should be safe from tornadoes.

Although they might be able to push against them (as long as they don’t topple over).

Has A Tornado Ever Hit A Skyscraper?

Tornadoes are terrifying, but they’re not invincible. Have you ever wondered what would happen if a tornado blew into a skyscraper?

While you might think that tornadoes don’t actually have the power to destroy buildings like skyscrapers, you’d be wrong. 

In fact, there have been several cases in which tornadoes have hit skyscrapers and caused some serious damage, but not as much as you might think.

tornado in the city

How High Can A Tornado Go?

Well, the answer is: pretty high. 

Tornadoes are capable of reaching heights of up to 3 miles (4.8 km) above the ground. Though most tornadoes only reach 1 to 2 miles (2 to 3 km). 

They can also get even higher (up to 13 miles or 21 km) when they’re funneled along a narrow path by wind shear.

The average wind speed in a tornado is around 200 miles per hour (322 km/h). 

This means that when it’s at its peak strength, it’s moving as fast as a jet airplane! Imagine how fast that would feel!

But even more amazing than how fast tornadoes move is how much damage they can do.

If you were caught in one during your lifetime, you could expect to lose everything from your clothing to your home or car, and possibly even your life!

How Does A Tornado Stop?

how does a tornado stop

The most important thing to remember about tornadoes is that they’re not always dangerous. They can be terrifying, yes! 

But they don’t have to kill you. A tornado can stop by itself. Sometimes it happens that a tornado doesn’t touch down at all!

There are two ways a tornado can stop: by dissipating or by lifting off the ground. 

Dissipating means that the storm loses the strength and intensity needed to stay over its area of origin. This usually happens when it moves away from the place where it started.

But sometimes, what starts as a strong storm can become less powerful as it moves farther away from its birthplace. 

In some cases, this means that an entire thunderstorm may become weaker and smaller after moving on from its original location!

When a tornado dissipates, air pressure gets lower in the lower levels of the atmosphere (the lower atmosphere). This causes a cooling effect. 

Note: You might notice cooler weather after a tornado passes through your area!

Precautions To Avoid Being A Victim Of Tornadoes

precautions for tornado

Tornadoes are a real threat to life and property. They’re also much more common than people think, with nearly 5% of all tornadoes occurring in the United States. 

But how can we prevent them from happening?

Prevention is a great way to keep yourself and your family safe from harm. 

When you’re prepared before a storm hits, it’s less likely that you’ll be injured or killed by it. 

Here are some tips to make sure you are safe from a natural disaster.

Tip #1: Your Family Should Know What To Do In Case Of An Emergency

Have family members who are older than you know where the nearest shelter is located, so they can get out of harm’s way if necessary. 

Also, make sure your family knows where their emergency supplies are located (such as flashlights, batteries, etc.).

emergency supply kit

Tip #2: Practice Situational Awareness

Always look out for danger when driving or walking around outside during storms! 

This will help keep you safe while traveling and will also enable you to detect any signs of trouble ahead of time.

By so doing, you can prepare yourself accordingly by taking cover or otherwise finding shelter if necessary.

Tip #3: Keep An Emergency Kit Handy

This includes things like flashlights, batteries, bottled water, and even food in case you’re stuck somewhere overnight or longer than expected. 

Make sure it’s kept in a place where it’s easily accessible during emergencies.

This is so that you’re never caught off guard by unexpected situations like floods or storms.

What Would A Tornado Do To A Skyscraper?

what tornado do to skyscraper

The answer to this question is complicated: it depends on how tall the building is and how strong its foundation is. 

In general, though, most skyscrapers are strong enough to withstand most tornadoes.

This is largely because they have large foundations made out of concrete or steel rebar.

But even if there are no tall buildings nearby, tornadoes have been known to pick up objects like cars or boats, or even trucks and throw them around like toys.

Note: These objects may or will destroy the exterior parts of the building for sure.


Tornados are one of the most powerful natural forces in the world. 

If one were to hit a major city, it would undoubtedly cause significant damage to many buildings.

Hopefully, this article has answered the question: what would a tornado do to a skyscraper?