If the past week is any indication, it is now tornado season in Kentuckiana. Here is some information on tornado safety that is important for you to know in the event of a tornado.
Tornados are spawned from volatile thunderstorms, when incoming warm air hits colder air. If the air gets spinning at a fast enough speed, it will begin to drop down from the clouds and create a funnel. When weather teams are watching for tornados, they are usually tracking especially violent thunder storms. Predicting tornados isn’t exact because some storms might never reach tornado level while others might at an unpredictable rate.
However, if there’s a tornado in the area, local sirens should go off to warn you. If you hear the sirens, seek immediate shelter and put on sturdy shoes (this will come in handy if you have to walk over damaged structures or debris after the storm). Usually the sirens only go off if there was an actual tornado sighted in the vicinity. With tornados come extremely strong winds, debris, and damage.
If you are at home, hopefully you have an emergency kit somewhere.
Here are some signs a tornado is heading your way in the very near future:
- Dark, often greenish sky
- Large hail
- A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
- Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
If a tornado is coming your way, seek the lowest and most interior shelter you can find. Stay away from windows completely. Tornados easily smash windows and send sharp and dangerous glass shards flying. There is a myth that taping windows will prevent them from shattering — it’s a wasted effort. If 300 mile-per-hour winds hit your window, some masking or duct tape won’t stop it.
For those who are caught on the road with a tornado on its way, it’s important to try to find a spot lower than anything else — a ditch near the road, for example. If this isn’t possible, get in the car, buckle yourself in and bend over with your arms over your head.