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A tornado in Lebanon, Kansas
A tornado in Lebanon, Kansas

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Tornadoes in Kansas
Kansas is known for many things -- wheat, sunflowers ... and tornadoes! What famous story set in Kansas features a tornado?

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, tells the story of Dorothy, who gets caught in a Kansas tornado and lands in the imaginary land of Oz. This story has been dramatized on stage and film. You might have seen the movie version, which stars Judy Garland as Dorothy.

Tornadoes are storms with rapidly rotating winds that form a funnel cloud. Also known as "twisters," they extend downward from the huge clouds of a severe thunderstorm. The winds that rotate within a tornado usually reach a speed of almost 300 miles per hour! A tornado often sweeps through an area quickly, but it can cause considerable destruction. There have been a number of remarkable reports of tornadoes. In one instance, a schoolhouse was demolished while the 85 students originally inside it were carried more than 400 feet with none killed. There was also a case of five railway coaches, each weighing 70 tons, lifted from their tracks.

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