Although tornadoes tend to stay east of the Rocky Mountains, they also have happened in pretty much every state. In other words, you might be affected regardless of where you live. This means that tornadoes should be on everyone’s list as something to be prepared for.
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When I think of tornadoes, my first idea is a funnel cloud hurling cows through the atmosphere. I’ve never been around a real tornado, but the movie Twister definitely prepared me for flying bovine if I ever find myself near one.
And then, after the image of the cow flies off into the sunset, I ask myself,”What do I really know about tornadoes, and how will I know if one is coming?”
Terrific questions, Self.
As tornadoes tend to start showing up more prevalently in the spring (and spring has just about sprung), allow me to share with you how you can know if a tornado is on its way for a trip.
Needless to say, the easiest method is to get your TV or radio on. Those have a tendency to come only about 13 minutes before the actual tornado, and can actually arrive much faster. That being said, not every area will receive a broadcast warning, so knowing the signs of an impending tornado is quite important.
Although tornadoes can be massive and devastating, they at least have the decency to give us some warning signals before they formally arrive. These six signs should help you identify tornado threats.
A Rotating, funnel shaped cloud extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.
Alright, so this one is one of the more obvious ones. Tornadoes have to form somewhere, so in case you see a funnel cloud beginning to form, this is a really good sign a tornado is on its way. When the weather gets tough, you may want to keep your eye on the skies, just in case.
A dark, occasionally green, sky
This is another reason why it’s a good idea to see the skies during storms. The sky is not always green, however, so don’t be fooled if the sky is simply very, very dim.
Occasionally the funnel of a tornado won’t be visible. Yet. By noticing a cloud of debris approaching (especially at ground level), that may be a great sign that something much more dangerous is on its way.
A loud roar (like a freight train)
This is especially useful if you do not live near a railroad. Tornadoes give off a constant rumble, much like that of a train.
A strange calm after a thunderstorm
It’s not uncommon for a tornado to occur after a thunderstorm. Don’t be surprised if you find a clear, calm skies in the tornado’s wake.
Debris falling from the skies
If debris begins falling from the sky like rain, chances are you will want to seek cover.
Are you prepared for a tornado’s devastation?
So there you have it. If you keep those six things in mind before and during storms, then you should not be caught off guard by a tornado.