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Tornadoes | Day 2 - Tornado Safety

Posted on March 5, 2019 at 9:20 AM

Tornadoes are some of the most freightening products of thunderstorms. They can pick cars up like toys and destroy entire towns. But how do tornadoes form and what safety procautions should I take when a tornado warning is issued?

How Do Tornadoes Form

Tornadoes form when warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico meets cool dry air from Canada. When these two air masses meet, they create thunderstorms. These storm grow becoming stronger and stronger. When a thunderstorm has matured, it grows so high into the atmosphere it hits the upper level winds and creates an anvil. 

Now back to the tornado, a spinning column of air is rotating horizontally in the atmosphere. A developing thunderstorm causes the column to turn vertically. In a matter of moments this mesocyclone starts spinning faster and faster and then forms a funnel. This funnel reaches from the cloud base to the ground and then a tornado has formed.

The EF Scale

Tornadoes are rated on how much damaged they do via the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Which goes from EF-0 to EF-5.

EF 0: 65-85 MPH

EF 1: 86-110 MPH

EF 2: 111-135 MPH

EF 3: 136-165 MPH

EF 4: 166-200 MPH

EF 5: 200 MPH +

Tornado Safety

When a tornado warning is issued for your area, the National Weather Service says you should go to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building. Avoid windows. If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move the closest shelter and protect yourself from flying debris. A basement, under a staircase, an interior bathroom without windows make perfect tornado shelters. 

This afternoon at 10 AM, the National Weather Service in coordination with emergency managers across the state of Kansas will conduct a Statewide Tornado Drill. This will be the perfect time to reherse your severe weather plan.

If severe weather strikes, trust the AWL Weather Network to provide a reliable service to you and we hope you stay safe this severe weather season.

Categories: Weather Blog

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