HOW BIZARRE WEATHER GETS WEIRD
A mile-wide tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri, in 2011 flattened neighborhoods into piles of wood and rubbish and embedded a kitchen chair deep into the exterior wall of a store. Hurled by winds over 200 mph, the legs hit the stucco like a flying spear.
Waterspouts vortexes that pull water into tornado-like columns can also suck up objects. In 2005, a spout rudely plucked thousands of frogs from their cozy aquatic homes and dropped them from the sky over the nearby town of Odzaci, Serbia.
In 2013, crimson rain drenched the costal India state of Kerala. The cause: red algal spores, likely transported from the ocean to rain clouds by strong winds. The not-uncommon occurrence stained clothing and collected in what looked like puddles of blood.
In 2014, a photographer captured a 1,000 foot tall funnel of insect probably locusts over Vial Fraco de Xira, Portugal. Small wind eddies can pull in midges, but larger "bug-nadoes" usually result from optical illusion or swarms rather than weather.
A tornado's updrafts can hurl papers and other light debris 20,000 feet into the air and carry them miles away. The farthest recorded journey happened in 1915, when a personal check from Great Bend, Kansas, traveled about 200 miles to Palmyra, Nebraska.
Great Balls of Ice
In 2010, hug hailstones rained on Vivian, South Dakota. One broke U.S. records with a weight of nearly 2 pounds. Normally the size of marbles, these stones got tossed around longer, and coated in extra ice, by the storm's updrafts.