As far as I know, the EF-3 El Reno tornado is by far the largest tornado since meteorologists have started observing them. Tornadoes also have eyes, like hurricanes, but are way too small compared to hurricanes. The El Reno tornado should make an exception, as it was 2.6 miles (4.2 kilometers) in diameter. But what about it’s eye? Can it be compared to a small hurricane, like Tropical Storm Marco? Even as the smallest hurricane, it’s still about 3.5 times the size of El Reno, so would their eyes have about the same ratio, or maybe a completely different ratio?

P.S. A cyclone, a hurricane, and a typhoon are pretty much the same thing. I just use hurricane because I live in America.

This is my fist question, so Im a little nervous :)

  • $\begingroup$ @Earthworm Would you mind expanding that into an answer, with sources to back it up? $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 19:03
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    – Tardy
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 0:28
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2 Answers 2


There is no eye in the centre of a tornado's funnel, if we see the eye as a near circular cloudless area from bottom to tropopause, surrounded by a wall of towering clouds. Some interpretational leeway may lie in the low angular windspeed in the centre of the vortex, but that is not comparable to a hurricane's eye. Force of the central updraft is still strong enough to keep debris in suspension.

A vortex forms from updraft, warm air including 'macroscopic particles' is sucked into the cloud, while a hurricane's eye forms because of sinking air in the centre of a much larger and longer lasting storm system. There may, though, be water spouts under the individual thunderstorms of a hurricane's eyewall. Cause for rotation of a hurricane is coriolis force, while the vortex rotation is thought to be caused by vertical windsheer in the horizontal inflow. Hurricanes gain their energy from warm sea water, while thunderstorms are caused by vertical labilization of the atmosphere along a frontal line.

Here's a publication about the El Reno tornado. No structure that could be interpreted as an eye can be found in the interpretation of the radar data (Figure 15), and there's still a huge black thundercloud right above it.

Thunderstorms with tornados and tropical storms like hurricanes and typhoons are fundamentally different in how they form and evolve, their size and structure, much information on both phenomena can be found on the internet.

And, btw., TS Marco 2008 didn't have an eye either, I believe.

  • $\begingroup$ Wait... It didn’t? But I thought that all hurricanes had eyes 🤔 A tropical storm is kinda a hurricane though $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ You mean this one or maybe another ? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Storm_Marco_(2008). It's windspeed wasn't high enough to be levelled up to 'hurricane' status :-) $\endgroup$
    – user22279
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ Um, the word kinda should be highlighted, it looks like one, at least $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 18:58

larger tornado's do have discernible eyes, and I fail to understand why people keep popping up online trolling cyclones by saying they never have eyes at the center. two eyewitnesses have passed through these phenomenon and lived to testify that they are very real. tornados are vortices, like hurricanes, or whirlpools, and all these things have hollow centers, around which they rotate. the Joplin Missouri tornado in 2011 was a mile wide, with a 300 yard eye. ask survivor from the Wal Mart in that things path, they'll tell you about the full minute of silence and stillness as they sheltered inside, and the thing past overhead.


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