Tornadoes are one of nature’s most frightening and dramatic phenomena. They twist and turn and cause horrendous devastation wherever they go. So what exactly do dreams about tornadoes mean?

What Do Dreams about Tornadoes Mean?

As with all dream interpretation, the context of the dream is as important as the details. However, you can make general inferences with certain dreams. For example, tornado dreams are indicative of confused thinking, emotional problems, or anxiety.

This is because tornadoes are typically made up of air or water. The air in a dream relates to our thoughts whereas water is linked to emotions. The chaotic nature of a tornado in a dream indicates change.

However, tornado dreams can also signal a warning to you from your subconscious. Sometimes we are so caught up in life we don’t realise that our mental health is suffering. Recurring tornado dreams should, therefore, be a warning to you from your psyche. Your subconscious is prodding you in your dreams to help to recognise that you need to seek help.

So the main interpretation we can take from dreams about tornadoes is that they relate in some way to your mental health. You might have been worrying about a situation and feel hopeless and unable to tackle it.

In these cases, your dream is asking you to stop worrying and start being more positive. It is telling you that the tornado is not the thing to be scared of. The tornado represents your escalating worries and uncontrolled thoughts. So you shouldn’t be afraid of the actual tornado. Instead, see it as a warning that relates to how you are handling a particular situation.

3 General Interpretations of Tornado Dreams

Before I go into the finer details of dreams about tornadoes, let’s examine these three general interpretations:

Confused thinking

Tornadoes are whirling funnels of air with no clear direction. They sweep across the landscape obliterating everything in their sight. The air in dreams symbolises our thoughts. In this case, the tornado indicates that our thoughts are in turmoil. We may be struggling with a problem that we can’t find a solution to. Or we could be going around and around in circles with no result in sight. In this case, the tornado is indicating a state of confusion to a current situation.

Do you feel caught up in the drama of an escalating situation? Are you running out of ideas to resolve a problem? Are you dealing with a problem that is all-consuming? Do you run through possible options and then dismiss all of them? Or are you obsessing about one particular matter? Do thoughts about this situation keep spinning around in your mind?

Unfortunately, until this problem or situation is resolved, the tornado dreams will persist.

Emotional problems

Tornadoes are uncontrollable bursts of energy. Therefore, tornado dreams can signify emotional turmoil. We cannot help what we feel and this type of dream indicates our sense of helplessness. Perhaps you are dealing with an emotionally-charged situation and you feel powerless to do anything about it. Maybe a relationship is ending and you don’t want it to but there’s nothing you can do.

Tornadoes symbolise drastic change and upheaval. Your mind has interpreted this upheaval in your real life and created a tornado in your dreams. You feel uncertain about your future, uncertain about how you’ll cope after this drastic change.

However, it is important to remember that we get warnings with tornadoes in real life. We can see them coming from afar. So although you might feel helpless at the time because you are forewarned, there are things you can do to lessen the devastation they cause.


Tornadoes spin out of control and this is how a lot of us describe anxiety; that loss of control spinning away from us. So a tornado dream can signify our worry and lack of control in our real life. Do you feel as if your emotions are running away from you? Is this making your anxiety worse? Maybe there is an event coming up and it’s making you anxious. Tornadoes indicate a threat that cannot be controlled. Is this how you feel about the future?

Dreams about tornadoes also indicate a more generalised form of anxiety. We can see these tornadoes from far away, but we know they are coming for us. So a tornado dream can symbolise both a real-life threat and a general feeling of anxiousness.

15 Scenarios and Interpretations of Dreams about Tornadoes

So those are the three general interpretations of dreams about tornadoes. Now let’s look at tornado dreams in more detail:

  1. Witnessing a tornado

If you saw a tornado from a safe distance away, this symbolises a worry in the future that you feel you have no control over. You feel under-prepared to deal with what’s coming. However, if the tornado was right before your eyes, it indicates your growing unease about a certain person or situation in your life. You are afraid that this real-life situation can unbalance you emotionally.

  1. Caught in a tornado

Being caught up in a tornado is particularly frightening. It indicates your emotions are out of control. You have extreme highs and lows in terms of your moods. You are prone to violent outbursts and don’t care anymore whether your loved ones are hurt by your cruel words. You feel a strong need to let others know what you’re going through.

  1. Chased by a tornado

A dream about tornadoes chasing you indicates your fear about a person. The closer the tornado gets to you, the bigger the threat this person presents. This type of dream indicates a need for calm thinking. It’s easy to panic in these situations, but you need to keep a level head when dealing with this person. The chaotic nature of tornadoes symbolises the unknown path this person might take.

  1. Devastation by a tornado

dream about tornado destruction meaning

As with dreams about death and dying, the devastation left in the wake of a tornado is indicative of change and a new start. The old and rotten parts of your past have been obliterated making way for a fresh new beginning. This is a dream about your possible future and what you have to do to enable it. Sweep out all the deadwood in your life and start anew. You have the power to make these necessary changes.

  1. Lots of tornadoes

If there are lots of tornadoes in our dream, you should look at the size of them in order to interpret the dream. For instance, lots of small skinny tornadoes indicate little niggly problems you can easily resolve.

However, the bigger the tornadoes in your dreams, the larger the problems you’re likely to face in real life. If they all merge to create a huge storm, this symbolises a huge weight on your mind that’s growing larger by the day.

  1. There’s a tornado warning

Recurrent dreams about tornadoes indicate that you are a worrier in real-life. You may suffer from generalised anxiety and tend to think the worst is going to happen. However, if this doesn’t describe you, then the dream shows you are prepared for any up and coming situation. This type of dream indicates that there is a situation that is causing you anxiety, but you have the tools to cope with it.

  1. Escaped a tornado

Are you an outspoken person that doesn’t suffer fools gladly? Escaping from the path of a tornado indicates that you are not afraid of calling out or confronting people that upset or annoy you. You are known to tell things as they are and people respect your forthright views.

This type of dream also indicates success in dealing with unscrupulous people. You might have felt out of your depth but you succeeded in dealing with these people who wanted to undermine you.

  1. Trapped in a car during a tornado

Are you trapped in a car in the path of an oncoming tornado and you can’t move? This suggests a lack of conviction regarding a situation in your life. You feel underprepared for what’s coming next. Things seem like they are spiralling out of control and you don’t know which way to turn. You want to act, but you feel paralysed. This sense of helplessness to make a decision is only worsening your anxiety.

  1. Picked up and carried away by the tornado

This dream indicates that whatever problem or situation you’re dealing with, it is getting out of hand. Your thoughts are running amok and you need to calm down and think reasonably about a situation. You may be engaging in catastrophic thinking or black and white thinking where you are imagining all the worst possible scenarios. Don’t let your imagination take hold of you.

On the other hand, if you felt quite calm by being carried away in the tornado, then this reflects your desire to get away from your current situation. Maybe you feel like you want a break from your present life. You could do with some time out for yourself.

  1. Saving someone from the tornado

This all depends on who you were trying to save and whether you managed to save them. If it was a member of your own family, then this indicates a worry about their health or a situation they are currently experiencing. If you didn’t manage to save the person, this refers to your own feelings of helplessness about the situation. You want to stop whatever is happening to them, but you can’t.

  1. Watching the effects of the tornado on other people

A dream where you stood by and watched the tornado causing devastation on others signifies other people’s feelings towards you. These people don’t want to confront you for fear of upsetting you. They could also be afraid of your reaction to them. In both cases, they are hiding their feelings for fear that you’ll not be understanding.

  1. You survived a tornado

dreams about tornadoes

Surviving a tornado is a very good sign from your subconscious. You may well have experienced a traumatic event in your life, but your psyche is telling you that you have overcome it. You have managed to come out the other end relatively unscathed. You are a strong individual that can literally weather any storm. Now, that the devastation is over and the clouds have gone it’s time to focus on yourself. This is your time to shine.

  1. You didn’t survive a tornado

Usually, we don’t dream about not surviving a catastrophic event. We wake up before the end comes. Typically, dreaming about dying or death is suggestive of a new start. However, in this case, it indicates poor health on the part of the dreamer. Are you neglecting your health because you have other more pressing responsibilities? You should understand that you can’t look after anyone if you yourself are sick.

  1. You hid from a tornado

Hiding from a tornado is not an indication of weakness or fear, in fact, it signifies your calm nature to stress and unpredictability. You are the voice of reason when things get messy. You can keep people from panicking in stressful situations. People look to you for guidance and advice on what to do when there is panic or anxiety. You remind people that there’s nothing to be frightened about.

  1. You are chasing tornadoes

Are you one of those daredevils we see in movies that chase tornadoes? You might assume that this kind of dream relates to risk-taking, but you’d be wrong. It signifies someone in your life trying to control you.

Do you feel as if you cannot be yourself or that someone disapproves of how you live your life? Chasing tornadoes in your dream indicates the impossible task of catching up with the storm. And this is how you feel around a certain person. Remember, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. You can only be yourself.

Final thoughts

It is important to remember that tornadoes represent your innermost feelings and emotions. And unless the tornado in your dream came out of nowhere, we usually get a warning before its arrival. We hear alarms and sirens which warn us to take cover.

So consider the tornado dream as a warning to keep yourself safe. To look after your mental wellbeing. Once you view your dreams about tornadoes in this way, you will be better equipped to deal with any destructive forces heading your way.


  2. Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, 1899

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. ktback

    I used to have so many dreams about tornadoes, but now mostly it’s sharks and deep unfathomable water. I’m going to assume there’s some crossover. ;.)

  2. Mike

    This post in ON point

  3. liz

    i keep dreaming of tornados. im in different places but the tornado is the same and i feel the wind and the rain and im always caught in it. ive dreamnt of more than one that have come to make a giant one, but i always wake up before i can see the destruction. one dream i saved my husband before he could be hit by a tree before the tornado hit.

  4. Benjamin Jongejan

    Last night I had a dream about a really bad earthquake that shook our house, so badly that it was swaying a lot and things were breaking all over. I jumped out of bed and gathered my sisters to safety and then the shaking stopped but then it started again and we were hit with a massive tornado that ripped our house to shreds, sucked us out and killed us all. We live in Utah where tornados are not commonplace, so it’s especially odd that the dream happened that way, it was terrifying nonetheless, and it woke me up it was so bad. I don’t have nightmares often, so when I do I usually look for dream interpritations to shed some light on the dreams, but I haven’t found anything that gets close to explaining this…

  5. Twisted D

    I think Tornados are cool, I’ve always wanted to go for a ride in one(in a safe, controlled manner). I also do dream about Tornados a lot as I have suffered much emotional damage and anxiety in my life. But I normally don’t shy away from the nados in my dreams, because I find them strangely attractive in some weird way. The power, beauty in the context of colors in the sky, etc.

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