Severe Weather Awareness Week: Tornado Safety

Local News

One of the scariest and most violent forms of severe weather are tornadoes. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a cloud to the ground. For a tornado to be verified to have touched down, there must be swirling dust or debris visible at ground level.

Tornadoes are possible throughout the year (though very rare in the Midwest during the winter), but they’re most common in the spring and summer. Siouxland’s peak in tornado activity happens during the month of June. A small second spike happens during the fall with dynamic cold fronts cutting through as you may remember the October 4, 2013 tornado that struck Wayne, NE.

About 90% of tornadoes are either EF0 or EF1 on the Enhanced Fuita Scale which is a measure of tornado intensity. At minimum, tornadoes carry wind speeds of 65 MPH. EF5 tornadoes, which make up less than 1% of all observed tornadoes, are the most devastating with wind speeds exceeding 200 MPH.

If a Tornado Watch is issued for your location, take it seriously and stay up to date with what is happening with the weather during the watch. When a Tornado Warning is issued, seek shelter immediately in the basement or lowest level of your home. A basement is the safest because the walls are underground, and that makes it very difficult for the walls to cave in. Use a small interior room and try to get under stairs, a table, or a workbench to provide an extra buffer between you and the tornado. If you live in a mobile home and receive the Tornado Warning with enough time to act, attempt to move to a more substantial shelter. Mobile homes can’t stand up against stronger tornadoes. Putting as many sturdy walls between you and the outside will give the tornado less of a chance reaching you.

To stay informed on changing weather conditions tune in for coverage on KCAU 9 News, download the KCAU 9 Weather App, or use a NOAA Weather Radio for the latest updates.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News

More Local News

Trending Stories