Always Be Prepared To Get To A Storm Shelter On Time

In order to get to your storm shelter on time, you need to know when a tornado is coming toward you. Sometimes the signs appear well in advance, and other times they come at you out of nowhere. Nevertheless, you need to be prepared for the violent winds before it is too late. Watch for these warning signs for tornadoes to protect yourself and your family early on.

Understanding Weather Patterns That Lead to Tornadoes

While we still don’t know what causes a tornado to spin so violently, so quickly, there are some weather patterns that are common in most tornado occurrences. Tornadoes happen in times where the air is “instable,” meaning that the lower section of the air is warm and humid while the upper portion is cooler. Instable air often occurs when a cold front is moving in. the warm, humid weather in the spring and early summer make this the perfect time for a tornado to develop.

Thunderstorms may also lead to tornadoes because the rain cools down try air at a rapid pace. This, combined with a high wind shear, can be enough force for a funnel to form. If you hear your weatherman talk about “instable air” in your area, be on the lookout for a tornado.

Reading Weather Maps

If you are looking at a weather map on TV or online, there are two major indicators to look for. The first is known as a “hook echo,” where a storm looks like it is spiraling in on itself to form a hook. This spiraling area is the part where a tornado is most likely to form. The tighter the spiral, the greater the risk of formation.

You also need to look at the watches and warnings listed on the weather map. The meteorologists will highlight areas under severe thunderstorm and tornado watches and warnings. A tornado watch means that the weather patterns all point to tornado, but a tornado warning indicates that a tornado has already been spotted ad you need to take shelter. Understand the colors used for these different indicators and respond accordingly.

Looking for Signs of Tornadoes in the Sky

If you look outside and you see a funnel starting to form in the clouds, take shelter right away. That is a tornado, or at least the start of one. It may not fully reach the ground, but it is best not to take your chances.

Other warning signs include:

Churning cloud patterns
Heavy winds, possibly followed by a calm
Flying debris
Large, dark wall clouds
Swirling rain
Loud roaring noises

Of course, if you notice a full tornado on the ground, get into your tornado shelter right away. Watch for the warning signs of a tornado as early as possible so you can be fully prepared when a storm hits.