Spring is almost here, which means severe tornado weather is right around the corner. Do you know how to spot signs of a tornado before it arrives? And do you know what to do if your neighborhood is hit by severe weather? Use this guide for help.
Severe Weather Tornado Signs
Aside from a funnel cloud forming in the sky, here’s how to spot the signs of an impending tornado:
- Calm after a thunderstorm: Tornadoes often follow thunderstorms. It’s common for the sky to appear calm and even start to clear up, but don’t be fooled—this could just be the calm before the storm.
- Hail: Hail the size of a quarter or larger is common before a funnel cloud forms. These balls of ice may even start falling to the ground without being preceded by rain.
- Greenish-black sky: The green hue comes from sunlight reflecting off the hailstones that typically precede tornadoes. The sky may also darken to almost black, even at midday.
- Shifting winds: Pre-tornado winds may gust in excess of 60 miles per hour and appear to blow in several directions as the storm develops.
- Rumbling sound: As the tornado begins to form, you may hear a deep rumble or roar that sounds different from thunder. Many people describe the noise as a freight train rushing past the house.
Signs of Similar Severe Weather
Even if a thunderstorm doesn’t turn into a tornado, the storm can still be destructive. Here are other weather risks to watch out for this spring:
- Lightning: By definition, every thunderstorm produces lightning. This powerful force of nature causes dozens of fatalities, hundreds of injuries, and over $1 billion in insurance losses every year. So if you hear thunder rumbling, seek shelter immediately.
- Straight-line winds: While not associated with tornadoes, straight-line winds can exceed 125 mph, downing power lines and toppling trees in their path.
- Flooding: Flash floods can occur during heavy spring rains and hailstorms. If flooding occurs in your area, heed road closure signs and never attempt to drive on flooded streets.
- Hail damage: Hail is a common cause of damaged roofs, dented cars, and leveled vegetable gardens. If hail is in the forecast, move personal belongings inside or under some sort of shelter, if possible.
Prepare for Severe Weather Now
Once local officials issue a tornado watch or warning, it’s too late to make any preparations. All you can do then is hunker down or evacuate. That’s why you and your family should make a plan today. Having emergency supplies on hand, knowing where you’ll evacuate, and feeling confident that you have the right insurance coverage can provide invaluable peace of mind as severe weather season approaches.
If your home is damaged in a tornado or other natural disaster, DKI can help. Our restoration company serves customers from coast to coast, with over 200 locations across North America. To request emergency restoration services, please call us at 877-533-0210 or contact us online.