Governments usually issued tornado warnings if there is a serious risk predicted as per prevalent or forthcoming weather conditions. When a tornado warning is issued one has to take cover and go with their family members to a secure place. They also need to have a radio with them in order to listen in to the warnings and communications that are issued by the government. In case you live in an area where tornadoes often occur, it is best to be prepared from before and has safety measures or alternatives planned out from before.
Many storm cellars and basement areas are created for people who stay in places where tornadoes are known to occur. Many people also have basement areas created to weather out such storms. If you do not have such a space, ensure that you know a friend or neighbor who does and will be able to provide you shelter quickly in times of emergency. Many homes in tornado-prone areas are usually built in ways that make them stand sturdy against moderate levels of tornadoes. The walls, windows, and doors as well as roofs are made heavy and weighed down to protect them from being ripped apart in such storms. However, in case the storms are of higher intensities people living in such homes can minimize damage to their lives by being in the center of their home. In case you are living in tents, trailer homes or traveling in cars, they need to exit such areas quickly.
If no form of quick shelter is found, one needs to try and lie flat on the ground, preferably in a ditch. However, in case the storm is accompanied by flooding, then such an option has to be ruled out. Even though many tend to take shelter under overpasses or bridges, these structures often collapse under the weight of such a storm and can cause damage to people’s lives. My buddy from a junk removal in Vancouver was visiting Kansas when this happened but was able to get out unscathed by lying in a ditch when the storm was approaching. He said it was the scariest thing that has ever happened to him.
Have an emergency plan
If you live in a tornado-prone area like Kansas, it would be a good idea to have an emergency evacuation plan in place. You could have a kit ready or a list ready as to what emergency supplies you need to get within a short time. You could stock up on blankets, flashlights, and food, water and entertainment options if you have space to carry such supplies. You need to cushion your body with heavy jackets and blankets or other kinds of protective coverings. Since the roads could be jammed or there could be flooding and road blocks, ensure that you have a backup plan to shelter your loved ones in case you cannot exit the area. Many communities also set up a watch for tornadoes.
A tornado is a Spanish word that means to twist or to turn. The word might not have as grave a meaning as what it depicts as one of the killer vehicles that nature employs that leaves widespread destruction in its path. As per definition, a tornado is usually caused due to the extremely low pressure that develops and a whirlwind that is created as a result. This results in a thunderstorm of severe levels.
Tornado winds have certain characteristics. For instance, they wind in such a storm usually turn in a counterclockwise direction. Funnel shaped columns of winds are formed in tornadoes, but these are not seen by the naked eye. The winds that rotate usually turn in a counterclockwise direction and touch the ground. However, what is visible to the eye is not the wind movement, but when debris is pulled up and swirled by these strong winds. The conditions of a violent tornado storm are usually picked up on weather detection system radars.
Often tornadoes are referred to as funnel clouds. Though these two terms are often used interchangeably, a funnel cloud is different by technical definition. Such a cloud usually does not touch the ground. A tornado is also described as a twister due to the rapid twisting motions that it displays. A tornado is known to be one of the most destructive and unpredictable forces of nature. It can be detected a few hours before it comes by. However, there are certain signs that usually preclude a tornado. There are violent storms that precede a tornado and there is a high wind, hailstorm that damages property as well. In certain cases, the storm might change course and it usually comes with a roaring sound, usually said to resemble the sound of an oncoming freight train.
The Fujita scale measures the intensity and strength of tornadoes in five categories. F1 stands for moderate strength, F2 means a storm of significant strength while F3 is severe, F4 devastating and F5 being incredible. The winds could reach a speed of 300 miles per hour. Among all the countries where tornadoes occur, Midwestern part of US receives tornadoes the most, higher than any part of the country.
May this year a dangerous tornado was forecasted and the outbreak happened as feared. Kansas in Oklahoma is known to be subjected to such violent outbreaks during this time of the year.
This occurred on the 20th of May when the violent weather was forecasted towards the end of the week. Outbreak consisted of severe thunderstorms along with tornadoes. There was hail as well as high winds that led to considerable damage. The storms affected the central and southern plains during the night. As a result, the areas were declared high-risk. Severe thunderstorms took place in a southern and central part of Kansas as well as in western and northern parts of Oklahoma. As per the storm warning system, it was a five level storm declared by the center. As per the weather alerts the tornadoes were expected to be long-lived and strong. The cities that were put on high alert were Dodge City and Wichita of Kansas. Storms also affected areas like Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and Tulsa.
The storm system was expected to lead to a dangerous situation as supercell thunderstorms could erupt as well. The slow moving storms were supposed to also bring in repeated and prolonged downpours. Such storms were feared to cause flooding as well.
The US is known to have diverse weather conditions in different parts of the country and May were the perfect example of such a state. While the central part of the country was facing severe storms, the East faced heat at record breaking levels. The western regions, on the other hand, underwent snow storms in May. Locations in Northeast, mid-Atlantic and the Great Lakes saw high temperatures. Boston also recorded one of the hottest temperatures at this time, which was a rare occurrence. Kansas got its share of a violent storm in May and many lives had to be reconstructed from scratch.