FEMA facts about tornadoes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

FEMA facts about tornadoes

(FEMA) - Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard.

Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible.

Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

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.
  • Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
  • Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.
  • Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., but can occur at any time.

What is the history of tornados where I live? Click here.

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.

Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

  • WLOX First Alert Weather BlogsMore>>

  • Hole punch cloud seen over Gulfport

    Hole punch cloud seen over Gulfport

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 11:00 AM EDT2017-07-25 15:00:31 GMT
    A hole punch cloud was seen over the Mississippi Gulf Coast.A hole punch cloud was seen over the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
    A hole appeared in the clouds on Tuesday morning over the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This rare cloud phenomenon is known as a hole punch cloud. It has other names; sometimes this cloud formation is called a fallstreak hole, a punch hole cloud, or even a skypunch. 7-25-17 Hole in the clouds So, what caused the clouds to look like someone punched a hole in them? Airplanes are the culprit, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). An article published by N...More >>
    A hole appeared in the clouds on Tuesday morning over the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This rare cloud phenomenon is known as a hole punch cloud. It has other names; sometimes this cloud formation is called a fallstreak hole, a punch hole cloud, or even a skypunch. 7-25-17 Hole in the clouds So, what caused the clouds to look like someone punched a hole in them? Airplanes are the culprit, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). An article published by N...More >>
  • Flood threat persists through Tuesday

    Flood threat persists through Tuesday

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 9:00 AM EDT2017-07-25 13:00:31 GMT
    Rainfall may become heavy at times and possibly lead to flash flooding on Tuesday.Rainfall may become heavy at times and possibly lead to flash flooding on Tuesday.

    Rainfall may become heavy at times and possibly lead to flash flooding.

    More >>

    Rainfall may become heavy at times and possibly lead to flash flooding.

    More >>
  • Cold front may bring strong storms next weekend

    Cold front may bring strong storms next weekend

    Sunday, July 23 2017 10:27 PM EDT2017-07-24 02:27:44 GMT

    It has been warm, muggy, and stormy at times throughout the past few weeks in South Mississippi, which are all things we would expect this time of year.

    More >>

    It has been warm, muggy, and stormy at times throughout the past few weeks in South Mississippi, which are all things we would expect this time of year.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly