It’s Tornado Season Around These Parts…..

13 Facts about Tornado’s

Unfortunately, it just seems relevant…..

1. Tornado’s form when thunderstorms develop in warm, moist air in advance of eastward-moving cold fronts. These thunderstorms often produce large hail, strong winds, and tornadoes.

2.  In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries.

3. A tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.

4. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more.

5. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.

6. How Tornado’s form:

  1. Before thunderstorms develop, a change in wind direction and an increase in wind speed with increasing height creates an invisible, horizontal spinning effect in the lower atmosphere.
  2. Rising air within the thunderstorm updraft tilts the rotating air from horizontal to vertical.
  3. An area of rotation, 2-6 miles wide, now extends through much of the storm. Most strong and violent tornadoes form within this area of strong rotation.
  4. A lower cloud base in the center of the photograph identifies an area of rotation known as a rotating wall cloud. This area is often nearly rain-free. Note rain in the background.
  5. Moments later a strong tornado develops in this area. Softball-size hail and damaging “straight-line” winds also occurred with this storm.

7. Weak Tornadoes


  • 69% of all tornadoes
  • Less than 5% of tornado deaths
  • Lifetime 1-10+ minutes
  • Winds less than 110 mph

8. Strong Tornadoes


  • 29% of all tornadoes
  • Nearly 30% of all tornado deaths
  • May last 20 minutes or longer
  • Winds 110-205 mph

9. Violent Tornadoes


  • Only 2% of all tornadoes
  • 70% of all tornado deaths
  • Lifetime can exceed 1 hour
  • Lifetime can exceed 1 hour

10. Watches and Warnings…
TORNADO WATCH: Tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms.
TORNADO WARNING: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. If a tornado warning is issued for your area and the sky becomes threatening, move to your pre-designated place of safety.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH: Severe thunderstorms are possible in your area.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING: Severe thunderstorms are occurring.
Remember, tornadoes occasionally develop in areas in which a severe thunderstorm watch or warning is in effect. Remain alert to signs of an approaching tornado and seek shelter if threatening conditions exist.

11. Environmental Clues of an oncoming tornado

  • Dark, often greenish sky
  • Wall cloud
  • Large hail
  • Loud roar; similar to a freight train

12 .Some tornadoes appear as a visible funnel extending only partially to the ground. Look for signs of debris below the visible funnel.

13.Tornado Safety-What YOU Can Do
Before the Storm:


  • Develop a plan for you and your family for home, work, school and when outdoors.
  • Have frequent drills.
  • Know the county/parish in which you live, and keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movement from weather bulletins.
  • Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up to receive warnings.
  • Listen to radio and television for information.
  • If planning a trip outdoors, listen to the latest forecasts and take necessary action if threatening weather is possible.

If a Warning is issued or if threatening weather approaches:


  • In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement.
  • If an underground shelter is not available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of automobiles.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it immediately.
  • Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned.

For more information; NOAA ,



Google+ Comments


  1. says

    We have seen so many tornadoes around here this season- it’s crazy! I was in my bathtub the other night while the sirens were going off. I’m on the second floor of my apartment, it was the only place I could think of to go!!

    Have a great Thursday!!


  2. says

    Some great info! The whole World seems to be going a little crazy weather wise lately. Its not even 2012 yet!!

  3. says

    When I lived in Wisconsin, we frequently had tornadoes on the edges of town and the sirens went off all the time in the spring and the fall. I’m glad I’m not there now.

  4. says

    We don’t have basements in Texas. I wonder where we would go. Hurricanes are more common here, but tornadoes do happen. It’s so strange that they were reporting about Joplin as I was reading your post. Devastating! I really want to help. I just can’t imagine.