Tornado Safety

Tornados are one of nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can uproot trees and buildings and turn harmless objects into deadly missiles. They can devastate a neighborhood in seconds. Tornadoes appear as rotating, funnel shaped clouds that extend to the ground with swirling 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 tornado hazards.


Tornado Watch

A tornado is possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to weather radio, commercial radio, or television for information.

Tornado Warning

A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately!

Tornado Facts

  • 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
  • They have been known to move in any general direction
  • The average ground speed of a tornado is 30 mph, but may vary from stationary to 70 mph
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., but can occur at any time

Danger Signs

  • Dark, often greenish sky
  • Large hail
  • Large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
  • Loud roar, similar to a freight train