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Learn English with this tornadoes English lesson

Date: Jul 26 2013

Themes: Weather

Grammar: Past Progressive Tense


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People sometimes joke that a person they know is a “force of nature.” If your friend’s a force of nature, it means they’re strong and can accomplish anything. A true force of nature, like a hurricane or tsunami, can cause serious damage. It can happen out of the blue and leave homes and land destroyed.

Tornadoes are a type of severe weather that happens without warning. A tornado is a funnel of air moving as fast as 300 miles per hour, smashing homes, cars, and anything else in its way. Living through a tornado must be a terrible ordeal.

Marni shares her experiences living in a tornado prone part of the US in this lesson about weather.


龙卷风就是在没有警告的情况下便会发生的一种恶劣天气。龙卷风是一股时速可以达到 300 英里的疾风,沿途席卷房屋、车辆以及其他任何东西。经历过一场龙卷风必定是一场可怕的遭遇。



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Marni:  Mason, there seems to have been a rash of tornadoes recently.

Mason:  It seems like it. It seems that there have been some bad ones that have, at least, hit more populated areas.

Marni:  You know, I grew up in the Midwest and I had a lot of experiences with tornadoes. Mostly taking shelter and tornadoes passing over, so it didn’t end up being such extreme weather. It is pretty scary, you know. It can be incredibly devastating and damaging.

Mason:  So, what do you do in a tornado situation? Does everyone just have a basement or the storm cellar kind of thing?

Marni:  When I first moved to the Midwest, actually, I had to spend about three hours in the basement of a mall because as soon as we got there, the tornado sirens were going off. There’s this protocol for wherever you are, essentially.

Mason:  Malls have basements?

Marni:  Malls have basements! I was thinking about storm chasers recently. These people really take their lives in their hands. It’s kind of crazy, to get this footage of these massive twisters. But I think it’s really interesting that people have taken that on as a profession. Obviously it’s showing us that weather just is not that predictable.


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Marni is talking with Mason about the severe weather she experienced when she was younger. She shares that tornadoes were common where she lived, and that she often had to move someplace safe, like a basement, when a tornado was coming. Mason says that he recently heard about tornadoes hitting cities where a lot of people live and work.

Marni also wants to talk about “storm chasers,” or the people who follow tornadoes with cameras instead of hiding in a safe place. To her, it seems a little crazy to follow tornadoes when they’re so dangerous. After all, tornadoes can hurt and kill people and destroy their homes. Since Marni grew up in a tornado-prone part of the country, she knows how terrible it is to be anywhere near one.

Are tornadoes a problem where you live? Do you know anyone who has lived through a tornado? What do you think it feels like if a tornado is moving through your city?



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My parents used to call me “the force of nature” and they didn’t mean anything positive. As soon  as I arrived at the kitchen the cups and plates and bowls became alive and jumped out of my hands onto the floor. Of course, they broke and my mum was really disapponted with me. It was even worse when I did the washing-up. Very rarely I could live one day without breaking something. Thank God, now I’m not that disastrous.:))

08:37 PM Jul 31 2013 |



United States

I have seen them! (from a safe distance)

08:22 AM Jul 31 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

i have never seen tornado!!who see that????please say about that to me!!!

08:02 AM Jul 31 2013 |



United States

tornado chasing is as risky as any other dangerous activity. But they know what they are doing. they definitely have the protocol and act according to it, no matter what turn the nature disaster can take.

11:54 AM Jul 29 2013 |




no, tornadoes are rare in my hometown  which located in middle part of China , but i did have one first hand experience .

few years ago when my parents just few miles away at their resturant , i was alone at home, chatting with a big sister in front of our house ,suddenly a big wind was blowing over , and the big sister was scared by it ,hurrily went into her house , since she was left , i got my laundry inside ,shut the door and lay on bed ,

the wind kept blowing outside , stronger and stronger , it didn’t took  long for me to realise that we were going through something serious ,and i even didn’t know which word to name this kind of weather 

as the wind kept growing , i can see the little trees outside was beaten up by it , i begun to panic , thinking where to hide if the house  crashed down . then i found the bottom of my bed was a good choice ,that’s a comfort :)

i pray in my heart , if the whole town can survive this , i will pay a visit to my anunt’s & uncle’s home , i will love life every minute …

then , after a while , the wind was gone , i fell asleep , everything returned to normal 

the  next  morning i still lived the life as always , no visit to my relatives’ home as i had totally forgotten what was going through my mind when we were sufferring that tornado 

of course , last night’s tornado was the topic of the town , everyone was involved in this topic , and something tragic happened to a family next town.

the little gal was the only surviver of the family , when the family was watching TV upstaris , the dad realised their house was going to crash, he hugged the little boy , and rushed to downstairs , bet it was too late to do that . 

guess where the little gal was hiding , it only gave ppl a very quick decision , so the gal was hiding beside a big furniture . and that’s lucky she can still survive .

05:32 PM Jul 28 2013 |



thanks God in my country we don’t suffer from tornadoes

11:14 PM Jul 27 2013 |

La Princesse de la vie


Well, I thank God there’s no tornadoes here where I live or even in the surrounding areas. We also don’t have any natural disasters that happen around. It’s a gift for us to be safe, and we are all grateful to God for this gift. 

I can never imagine a tornado hitting my city. That of course will be terrible, especially, there’s no preparation for that. 

I’m not a weather expert, but I think our geographical location is a safe one. But still, no one knows what can happen, and how strong nature is.

09:12 PM Jul 27 2013 |




well that must be a horrible situation, here in my country i’v never heard abt it. tnx god.. but i always afraid of that. one of my aunts lives in texas and i afraid that maybe one day she’ll face to this problem…

02:31 PM Jul 27 2013 |



United States

When they touch down, they can pull people out and gone. Whole houses can explode. Cars and roofs and boats can be tossed many miles away.  Bits of destroyed buildings can go through cement walls. The low pressure created by high winds in vortex pulls buildings apart and sucks things into the sky, the high winds turn the debris into shrapnel.  In 2003, one took the roof of the house across the street from me and flattened others.

Some tornado chasers died this season.  

In places like Texas and Oklahoma, basements are rare. They rely on shelters if they can afford or build one. Otherwise, it’s get someplace strong and pray.

07:29 AM Jul 27 2013 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

As other Iranian fellows, it is so strange for me that almost I can not believe wind can make such tremendous power to destroy houses or kill people. I hope to see its beauty but not the devastation side of tornadoes.

06:33 AM Jul 27 2013 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I just saw them in news.And I like them, they are beautiful and exiting, as long as they don’t cause damage.

PS:I really love have an exprience with them in a safe distance.

11:45 PM Jul 26 2013 |



Congo, Democratic Republic Of The

I’ve never experienced that situation ‘cause in Africa there’s nothing

05:59 PM Jul 26 2013 |

1 person likes this




There is no Tornado in Taiwan but we have Typhoon here instead. During Typhoon days, everything seems to stop. Most people stay home and stores are closed too. The strong freaking wind and heavy pouring rain are batting down on trees, blowing off signs, smashing windows and flooding villages and roads. Many places are destroyed, traffic facilities are paralyzed and houses on the mountain are submerged by the mud-slide.

A typhoon day is really an ordeal. Since I have never lived in the Tornado prone area before, I can only image how terrible it would be and linking the horrify feeling from Typhoon with it.

04:33 PM Jul 26 2013 |



thankfully, i have never run into such a disease in alll my life.i hope i wont rest of my life.our country traits havent such a place where isnt devastating nature incidents 

04:15 PM Jul 26 2013 |




u too Diamir its not problem here

07:56 AM Jul 26 2013 |



Where I live in Germany tornadoes are not a problem.

06:09 AM Jul 26 2013 |

1 person likes this



nice movie beside it can destroy the near areas

02:08 AM Jul 26 2013 |

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