A tornado is formed when rising warm air is trapped by a higher layer of cooler air. Tornadoes can rip whole houses into millions of pieces. They can reach wind speeds of up to 318 miles per hour. Tornadoes can lift whole cars up and toss them around. They can kill people by sweeping them up in their devastating winds. There is a special place, ranging from South Dakota down through Texas, called Tornado Alley, where tornados very often hit.