It is difficult to predict tornadoes. They seem to have a mind of their own. Even meteorologists can only look at dangerous weather patterns and be on the lookout for them. It isn’t until a tornado is spotted, either by an observer or via radio satellite, that we are even aware one is around. This gives little to no real warning time for preparing. It is important to have an emergency plan in place, as well as knowing what weather signs to be watchful of.
First, become a sky watcher, especially in stormy weather. You will want to be aware of a dark and sometimes green sky. Hail, which comes along with most tornadoes, refracts sunlight as it gets spun around inside the winds and sometimes causes a greenish tint to the sky. If you see a funnel cloud, well that is an obvious clue that a tornado is possible; however, funnel clouds can sometimes be hidden inside a large, moving, low-lying cloud of debris.
Listen. People who have been around or in a tornado state that a tornado sounds almost exactly like a freight train. The winds are so strong, that it makes a continuous roar. Falling debris from the sky is also a strong indicator that a tornado is nearby.
Finally, once the storm is over, don’t be fooled. A tornado can still happen after a thunderstorm. If there is an eerie quiet after the storm has passed, just remember to be watchful and aware.
There is very little warning for tornadoes. Even a tornado watch can quickly change to a warning. Know what to look for and prepare an emergency plan before the next tornado.