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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

<kabbes> Are you sure about your science in this one and are not mixing up tornadoes and storms? Tornadoes can be incredibly precise in their damage — there are examples of them shredding houses whilst leaving the neighbouring houses intact.

nwj: Does the tornado picking up Dorothy's house in The Wizard of Oz really count, considering that she only dreams this happened?

yes it happened in the book

Yeah. The whole dream ending was arbitrarily made up for the movie. In the book, it was fairly clear everything really happened—and only made more clear by the sequels.

<random troper>: A bit of insight on how this trope might have come to be. Most tornados are very weak, with <100mph winds and thus don't kick up very much debris or have strong winds outside the vortex. However, since most of a tornado's color and shape comes from that debris they usually lack the classic 'big black funnel' look seen in the movies.

Coldblood: Clarification: The "big black funnel" effect depends entirely on the visibility of the sun and the viewer's position relative to the sun; i.e. if the funnel is between you and the sun, it's black. If not, it's as the previous troper stated.