Tornado watches on the rise in your area? You’re not alone. Across the U.S., tornado outbreaks are increasing in number due to unseasonably warm weather. And among the worse effected: Tornado Alley: The strip of Great Plains states running from Kansas to Texas.
The Science Behind Tornado Alley
Tornadoes can – and do – form anywhere. In fact, about 1,200 hit the U.S. annually. However certain conditions aid their formation - conditions which exist in Tornado Alley:
- Flat, dry terrain
Tornadoes are more easily formed in regions with flat, dry terrain.
- Atmospheric instability
Think the battle of the opposites: In the Great Plains region, warm moist air from the Gulf battles with cool, dry Rocky Mountain winds. They meet, and science takes over…
- Competing air masses
When the competing masses meet, warm air rises and cool air sinks, creating a supercell, a very violent storm. If the two clashing air masses have different speeds, a funnel cloud is formed. When that cloud touches the ground it is classified as a tornado.
How many regions in the U.S. are effected?
The following regions are no stranger to a tornado watch. When is your tornado season?
- Southern Plains (May to June)
- Gulf Coast (Spring)
- Northern Plains & Upper Midwest (June or July)
Is your home prepared for severe weather?
Prepare your home and family for the event of a tornado watch or warning:
- Be on the lookout.
Be vigilant about approaching storms, watching closely for tornado signs: Dark skies, large hail, low-flying, fast moving clouds, and roaring sounds.
Listen to TV or radio news, or your NOAA weather radio for official instructions.
- Recognize alerts.
A tornado watch means a tornado is possible. A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted.
- Take shelter.
In the event of a warning, immediately seek shelter in a storm cellar, basement, or interior room.
Storm damage following a tornado watch? The caring professionals at Rainbow International® can help you put the pieces back together. Contact us today.
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