What Is A Tornado
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground and is often—although not always—visible as a funnel cloud. Lightning and hail are common in thunderstorms that produce tornadoes. Tornadoes cause extensive damage to structures and disrupt transportation, power, water, gas, communications, and other services in its direct path and in neighboring areas. Preparedness in areas prone to these cataclysmic storms is vital and should not be left to chance. Tornadoes can be and often are, deadly.
During severe thunderstorms, tornadoes can develop in less than a moment’s notice. The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. The average forward speed is 30 mph but may vary from nearly stationary to 70 mph.
Where Can Tornadoes Occur
About 1,200 tornadoes hit the United States every year and every state is at risk. Most tornadoes in the United States occur east of the Rocky Mountains with concentrations in the central and southern plains, the Gulf Coast and Florida. A vast number of tornadoes are found in the Great Plains of the central United States – an ideal environment for the formation of severe thunderstorms. In this area, known as Tornado Alley, storms are caused when dry cold air moving south from Canada meets warm moist air traveling north from the Gulf of Mexico.
When Do Tornadoes Occur
Tornadoes can strike in any season, but occur most often in the spring and summer months. They can occur at all hours of the day and night, but are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year. In the southern states, peak tornado occurrence is in March through May, while peak months in the northern states are during the summer. In some states, a secondary tornado season occurs in the fall.
Everyone should be prepared with a Tornado Emergency Survival kit, along with an emergency plan. The ProPac Tornado Survival Kit is a great way to have virtually all the supplies you need in one convenient place. Should the worst occur and you are a victim of the after effects of a tornado, this kit provides emergency communication capability, batteries, protective weather gear, food and water sustenance, first aid and more, all packed in a convenient water resistant pail with handle that is ideal for storage.
FEMA Preparation Guide
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, provides important information on preparation prior to a tornado strike. From basic planing to storm warning signs, taking cover to recovery, FEMA’s guide “How To Prepare For A Tornado” is vital reading. Click here for a your copy.