Most tornados occur between March and September, but they can strike at any time, day or night. Stay alert during severe thunderstorms. Watch for a spinning, funnel-shaped cloud or listen for a sound like the roar of a speeding train. Wherever you go, be aware of where you might take shelter. Stay tuned to your local radio or television station for tornado information. It could save your life.

WATCH/WARNING: Know the difference between a Tornado WATCH and a Tornado WARNING. A WATCH means "Watch" the sky. Weather conditions are right for tornados. A WARNING means a tornado has been sighted or appears on radar - TAKE COVER IMMEDIATELY. Remember Watch means WATCH THE SKY. Warning means TAKE COVER!

MOBILE HOME: Even the most securely anchored mobile home is not safe in a tornado. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, leave your mobile home immediately. Move to a nearby permanent shelter or take cover in a ditch or ravine. Do not get under your mobile home or try to outrun the tornado in your car.

ON THE ROAD: If you are caught on the road in a tornado, leave your car immediately. Do not try to drive away from the storm. If you have time, get inside a building. If not, lie flat in a ditch or ravine and cover your head with your arms. Do not take cover under the car.

AT HOME: If you are home when a tornado strikes, go to your basement and take cover. If you don't have a basement, go to an interior room on the lowest floor, like a closet or a bathroom with no windows. It's vital to stay away from windows. If you live in a mobile home, go outside and lie in a ditch or ravine.

OUTSIDE: If you are caught outside in a tornado, take cover in a ditch or ravine immediately. Lie flat with your arms over your head. If you can, wrap something around your body like a blanket or sleeping bag. Do NOT get under your car or camper or go into a grove of trees. Knowing what to do in a tornado can save your life.

SAFETY DRILLS: Do you know what to do if a tornado threatens your school, factory or office? In a tornado, take cover against a wall in the center of the building, below ground level if possible. Stay away from windows and avoid large open spaces like auditoriums and cafeterias. If there are no tornado drills at your school or office, suggest them. Safety drills can save lives.

LIGHTNING - WHAT TO DO: If you are caught outside in a thunderstorm, get inside a building or a car. If you must stay outside, keep away from metal, like golf carts, motorcycles, fences, metal lines or pipes. Stay below ground level, away from hilltops, open beaches or fields. And most importantly stay away from water.

LIGHTING - STAY INSIDE: Each year lightning kills more Americans than tornados or hurricanes. Most of these deaths happen outside. If you are inside a building, or even a car, your chances of being struck by lightning are slim. Stay on top of weather conditions when planning camping trips, swimming, fishing, golf or other outdoor activities.

NEVER DRIVE INTO WATER: Never drive into a flooded area. It takes two feet of water on the road to make a car float. Once floating, the car will be swept downstream and will often overturn, trapping occupants inside. If your car stalls in high water, abandon it immediately - MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND.

  • The region of the world where most tornados occur is in the central plains region of the United States.

  • Generally, tornados move from a southwesterly directon to the northeast, parallet to the cold front line.

  • Tornados can occur at all hours, but they are most likely to develop between 3-7 p.m., when the weather is hottest.

  • A tornado's path length ranges from 10-40 miles, with an average length of 16 miles. However, the Tri-State tornado of March 18, 1925, rampaged 219 miles in an almost straight line across three states.

  • A tornado's vortex produces the strongest wind speeds of any surface wind. Recent research indicates most tornados have wind speeds of about 112 mph.

  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 25-40 mph. Speeds can range from as slow as 5 mph up to 125 mph.

Fujita Scale | Tornado Alley | Tornado Storm Shelters | NWA & NOAA Info | 1925 Tornado | Funnel Facts | Severe Weather | Fema Fact Sheet | Live Storm Watch | Photo Gallery | Tornado Web Links | Tornado Warning Online! | Tornado Frequency | Weather Terms | Tornado Warning Online! | Home Page

Tornado Warning Online!
Copyright 1999-2011 All Rights Reserved