Tornadoes accompany thunderstorms and hurricanes; storms caused by cool air systems colliding with warm air systems. There is a swirling effects that occurs during these storms; there are many swirling points in any storm. Some of these points become highly accelerated by consistent and powerful battling winds. When this swirling point reaches such a point of acceleration the effect begins to descend to the ground. Something that may help to understand this effect is to think about moving a half empty water bottle in circular motion, and then making that motion faster and faster until you create a whirlpool in the water bottle.
The reason we see tornadoes almost strictly in the midwest is because the warm air system that moves north from the Gulf of Mexico and the cold air jet stream that carries south from Canada in the springtime interact in a rare way that accelerates the swirling effect to a high degree.
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