– defined as a violently rotating column of air extending
from a thunderstorm to the ground – are often formed when
warm and cold air masses clash. They are capable of tremendous destruction,
creating damage paths in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.
Tornados speed can vary from nearly stationary to up to 70 mph;
however, the wind speed from these formations can exceed 250 mph.
Tornadoes are classified using the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Most tornadoes
(~88%) are considered weak (EF0 or EF1) and about 95% of all U.S.
tornadoes are below EF3 intensity.
In the United States, on average, 1000 tornadoes are reported nationwide
each year, resulting in 70 deaths and over 1,500 injuries. They
occur most frequently east of the Rocky Mountains during the spring
and summer months. Tornado Alley is a nickname given to an area
in the southern plains of the central U.S. that consistently experiences
a high frequency of tornadoes each year.
Tornados can cause rapid destruction of homes and property, as well
as injury and death to humans and animals.
The following are facts about tornadoes:
- They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
- They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are
picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
- The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes
have been known to move in any direction.
- The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 MPH, but may vary
from stationary to 70 MPH.
- Peak tornado season in Missouri is March through June.
How can I protect myself from a tornado?
yourself with these terms to help identify a tornado hazard:
Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible. Remain
alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA
Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or
indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.
What to do before a tornado
- Be alert to changing weather conditions.
- Listen to NOAA Weather
Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the
- County/City/AREA NWR Transmitter Frequency Call Sign
- Warren Bellflower 162.450 WNG728
- Warren St. Louis 162.550 KDO89
- Look for approaching storms
- Look for the following danger signs:
- Dark, often greenish sky
- Large hail
- A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
- Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared
to take shelter immediately.
What to do during a tornado
If you are under a tornado WARNING, seek shelter immediately!
|If you are in:
|A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing
home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)
||Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement,
storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement,
go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet,
interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside
walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head
and neck. Do not open windows.
|A vehicle, trailer, or mobile home
||Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy,
nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied
down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
|The outside with no shelter
||Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head
with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in
a low, flat location.