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Tornado Season: Damage and Warning Signs Explained

Tornado Season: Damage and Warning Signs Explained

Tornado season varies depending on your location, but these destructive forces can strike at any time throughout the year. However, they are more commonly observed in the South between February and March and across the Plains from April to June. Recognized for their ability to tear roofs off buildings and launch vehicles into the air, tornadoes leave a trail of devastation in their wake. In this article, we will explore five primary ways in which tornadoes cause damage and highlight key warning signs to help you stay alert and safe.

Five Ways Tornadoes Cause Property Damage

  1. Extreme High Winds: Tornadoes unleash ferocious winds that can reach staggering speeds. These gusts have the power to uproot trees, demolish structures, and turn harmless objects into dangerous projectiles. The force of these winds is the primary source of destruction during tornado events.

  2. Flying Debris: As a tornado barrels through an area, it collects debris from its path, hurtling objects at incredible speeds. Anything in its way, from loose branches and furniture to shards of glass and metal fragments, can become hazardous projectiles capable of causing severe damage to buildings and endangering human lives.

  3. Hail: Tornadoes often generate hail as they form or move through storm systems. These ice pellets can vary in size, ranging from small stones to large, destructive chunks. The impact of hail can shatter windows, damage roofs, and leave vehicles in ruins, compounding the destruction already caused by the tornado itself.

  4. Lightning: Electrical storms often accompany tornadoes, resulting in frequent lightning strikes. These bolts of electricity pose a significant threat, potentially causing fires and further damaging structures already in the tornado's path.

  5. Wind-driven Rain: Alongside the high winds, tornadoes bring heavy rainfall that can exacerbate the damage caused by the storm. The combination of relentless downpours and strong winds can lead to flooding, increasing the risk of structural collapse and causing water damage to properties.

Seven Key Indicators of an Impending Tornado

To protect yourself and others, it is crucial to be aware of the warning signs that often precede a tornado. Keep an eye out for the following indicators:

  1. Dark greenish skies: Tornadoes can cause the sky to take on an eerie greenish tint due to the atmospheric conditions associated with severe storms. This abnormal coloration can serve as an early warning sign.

  2. Wall cloud: Look for a distinctive cloud formation known as a wall cloud. This low, rotating cloud can appear menacing and precede the formation of a tornado. Exercise caution if you spot one.

  3. Rotating funnel-shaped cloud: The iconic image of a tornado is a funnel-shaped cloud extending from the sky to the ground. If you observe such a formation, take immediate shelter and follow local emergency protocols.

  4. Huge cloud of debris: As a tornado churns up debris in its path, a massive cloud of dust, dirt, and objects may become visible. This swirling mass indicates the presence of a tornado nearby.

  5. Large hail often without rain: Unusually large hailstones falling without rain can be an indication of a severe storm system capable of spawning tornadoes. Stay vigilant if you experience this weather phenomenon.

  6. Sudden or unusual calmness: Tornadoes can create an eerie calm before the storm hits. If you notice a sudden cessation of wind or an unusual stillness, it may be a sign that a tornado is imminent. Seek shelter immediately.

  7. Loud roar like a freight train: Tornadoes often produce a distinct sound resembling a roaring freight train or a jet engine. If you hear this noise, take immediate action to protect yourself, as it is an unmistakable sign of an approaching tornado.

Conclusion

Tornadoes are unpredictable and can cause significant damage within seconds. Understanding the ways in which tornadoes cause destruction and being able to recognize the warning signs are crucial for safeguarding lives and property. Stay informed, have an emergency plan in place, and heed local authorities' instructions to ensure your safety during tornado season or in the event of a tornado.

If your commercial property has sustained damage after a storm, take immediate action and contact CRC for professional assistance and guidance in the recovery process. Remember, preparedness and awareness, along with timely support, are key when facing these powerful and devastating natural phenomena.

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