How do you know a tornado is coming?

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   May 23, 2024   Update on : May 23, 2024

Tornado warning
Photo: Freepik

Tornado is a violently rotating column of air touching the ground, which is generally attached to the base of a thunderstorm.

Tornadoes are the most violent storms in nature. Created by powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause deaths and devastations in a neighborhood or an area within seconds.

The gusty winds of a tornado even reaches upto 300 miles per hour.

What causes a tornado?

The major ingredients that lead to tornadoes is mainly atmospheric instability — warm moist air near the ground, juxtaposed with cooler drier air high up, and wind shear — a rapid change in wind speed and/or direction along with height.

How to identify? What are the signs or clues?

A rotating, cone-shaped cloud that extends from the ground towards a thunderstorm may be visible.

Change in the color of the sky

A dark, almost black thunderstorm or clouds taking a eerie look with brown, green, or yellow colors may be an indication of a severe thunderstorm, according to FEMA.

The darkness and colors of the cloud are caused by the storm’s gigantic size which blocks the sun.

This storm usually brings hail, causes very heavy rain, and damaging winds.

Sound of a freight train

The wind roars like the sounds of a freight train as it moves through trees and buildings.

It may point to an approaching tornado or severe downpour.

The rapid wind-rotation in a tornado also sometimes makes high-pitch whistling and whirling sounds.

Debris dropping from the sky

At times, tornadoes are obscured by low clouds, rain, trees, or buildings that blocks the funnel from one’s view.

A visible funnel may not even be touching the ground and may only extend half or two-thirds of the way from the cloud toward the ground.

However, even with weaker tornadoes, swirling debris can be spotted or debris rising up in the air.

These are sure signs of significant damaging winds and one must take immediate protective action.


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