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>>

  • Stormy for March's final Saturday

    Stormy for March's final Saturday

    Thursday, March 23 2017 1:35 PM EDT2017-03-23 17:35:21 GMT
    As a Saturday cold front moves in from the west, numerous thunderstorms, some strong, will put parts of the region at risk for severe weather.As a Saturday cold front moves in from the west, numerous thunderstorms, some strong, will put parts of the region at risk for severe weather.

    A few isolated severe storms will be possible, producing mainly threats of damaging wind gusts. But, hail and an isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.

    More >>

    A few isolated severe storms will be possible, producing mainly threats of damaging wind gusts. But, hail and an isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.

    More >>
  • Mid-March freeze across the south

    Mid-March freeze across the south

    Wednesday, March 15 2017 7:36 AM EDT2017-03-15 11:36:44 GMT
    Dry high pressure will lead to clear sky & calm wind. Those conditions will allow for rapidly cooling temperatures Wednesday night into Thursday morning.Dry high pressure will lead to clear sky & calm wind. Those conditions will allow for rapidly cooling temperatures Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

    The only counties in the WLOX area under that freeze warning as of Wednesday morning were Stone and George counties.

    More >>

    The only counties in the WLOX area under that freeze warning as of Wednesday morning were Stone and George counties.

    More >>
  • Meteorological spring begins-- but, what is it?

    Meteorological spring begins-- but, what is it?

    Friday, March 3 2017 10:05 AM EST2017-03-03 15:05:49 GMT
    Meteorological spring began Mar 1.Meteorological spring began Mar 1.

    It starts a little earlier than the official calendar, or astronomical, spring season that most are more familiar with.

    More >>

    It starts a little earlier than the official calendar, or astronomical, spring season that most are more familiar with.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly