Information On Tornadoes

A complete guide regarding information on tornadoes. Read about the violent wind that this storm is capable of producing, plus the damage.

Can you imagine winds of 320 miles per hour heading your way? An F-5 tornado has the potential of creating such a nightmarish reality. Not even a motion picture can exaggerate the ruins displayed by this devastating whirlwind.

A tornado can be the most horrific and threatening of all natural disasters. It can kill everything and everyone in its path. Houses have been lifted by tornadoes, reeled, and then dumped thousands of feet from the original residence. Buildings and houses can be left sitting in the same location after being shredded, or they can be placed in another location with little damage.

The tornado's pattern is completely unpredictable but, more often than not, its damage is very complete. A tornado can actually leave a shovel standing against a barn while carrying away the other half of the barn and placing it at another location. At the same time the tornado can drive a piece of hay through that shovel without moving it. Within a tornado's path there are awesome dramas, some including horrendous tragedies, while others include miracles.

Tornadoes develop from thunderstorms when the cold and warm air meets. Rising air within thunderstorms cause an air shift from horizontal to vertical. A twirling rainfree wall cloud evolves. Within minutes a tornado develops from the thunderstorm.

Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year. They tend to develop more frequently between the hours of 4 PM and 8 PM, but they can occur at any time of the day.

When tornadoes develop the air is usually humid and warm prior to a cold front. Frequently these systems form in the Central United States. When tornadoes develop, they normally move from southwest to northeast, yet they are not bound by any rules.

Frequently the southeast and eastern United States receive tornadoes in the fall, spawned by hurricanes. Waterspouts, too, are spawned by hurricanes. Waterspouts are tornadoes that evolve over warm water, most frequently along the southeastern shores and the Gulf coast.

Tornadoes can occur most anywhere. They are certainly not limited to the United States. Africa has frequent tornadoes, and the United Kingdom experiences tornadoes as well. In fact, many countries in the world are threatened by tornadic activity, but these tragic storms tend to be more prevalent in Africa and in the United States.

Tornadoes vary in speed, size, and time limits. There are weak, strong, and violent tornadoes. A weak tornado may break tree branches and damage shutters on a house. It will last from one to ten minutes. A strong tornado has the potential to overturn aircraft and lift roofs from buildings. It may continue its path on ground for fifteen minutes or more.

God forbid if a violent tornado develops. It has the potential to stay on the ground one hour or more, while it rips buildings to shreds and carries automobiles thousands of feet, with more ease than Superman. Almost nothing is left in a violent tornado's path.

When the air is set up for thunderstorm activity that can reach limits severe enough to produce a tornado, we then hear about tornado watches and tornado warnings. A "tornado watch" simply means that conditions in the air are favorable for the outbreak of tornadoes. When a "tornado warning" is announced, a tornado has actually been spotted.

This is the time to take both action and cover:

If you are in a house with a basement, go immediately to it. Stay away from windows. Perhaps you can go in the bathroom and shut the door.Get in your bathtub and lie down. If you live in a mobile home it is best to seek safety somewhere else during the tornado "watch." However, NEVER get into your car and try to outrun a tornado.If your home does not have a basement, get under a large piece of furniture, and again, remember to cover your head and neck with your arms or hold onto the table above your head.

If you are in a car, get out of it and immediately take shelter in a nearby dwelling. If there is not one near you, lie flat in a ditch, protecting your head. Be sure you are "away" from your car. If there is no ditch, simply lie flat.

Always STAY ALERT at the onset of any thunderstorm and/or tornado watch. You are more likely to survive a tornado when you remain aware of what is going on around you. Stay inside.

Most deaths are caused by flying debris. Some deaths are caused by those who do not take heed of the warnings issued, and other deaths are caused by those persons that ignore them, and think thoughts like, "This is something you read in the newspaper, not something that happens to me."

Protect yourself when the sky is blue. Always have on hand flashlights, with extra batteries, a first aid kit, extra food and water, medicines that you need, and a manual can opener. These items should be within your reach after tornadoes, or during and after any other natural disaster for that matter.

The most important aspects of a tornado are awareness and protection. Stay tuned to your radio. Think about purchasing a weather radio for your protection. This will keep you abreast of what to expect in areas you choose to travel as well as protect you and your loved ones from severe weather activity.

Remember that the sun always comes out after the storm, but it's much brighter when you protect yourself and your loved ones from the violent acts that nature can produce. You'll be glad that you did when you see that sun shine on a new day.

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