How do tornadoes work?

That is not fully understood and is the topic of ongoing research by scientists. What is known is that tornadoes are violently rotating vorticies of air that form during some thunderstorms. Wind air in and near a tornado spiral inward and upward at very high speeds around a center of intense low pressure.

Most tornadoes form from the mesocyclone, or rotating updraft, of a powerful type of thunderstorm called a supercell. The bottom portion of the mesocyclone tightens and intensifies to produce the tornado, but it is not known how this happens or why happens in some storms and not others.