There are many things in life that are unpredictable. Weather, unfortunately, is one of those, and you can never quite tell when an afternoon thunderstorm is going to turn deadly by unleashing a tornado or two upon your town. Most people have an action plan if there is a tornado warning for their area, but take the initiative and know the signs of a tornado, so you can be prepared, even if the weather alert doesn't come in on time.
We all rely on technology, and in some cities, there are still tornado sirens to alert everyone that a tornado has been spotted, but part of being prepared for any situation is recognizing the signs of a situation before it becomes one. This is where recognizing the signs of a tornado comes in handy.
- The sky may appear green: We know, that one sounds a bit too sci-fi, but you will notice a green tint to a dark sky, and that is your first warning sign that there may potentially be a tornado arriving shortly.
- Large hail, without rain: This is another indicator that there is a tornado forming in the area.
- A sudden stillness: This will create an eerie feeling, the wind will stop, and the air will become very still. If this occurs, seek shelter immediately. The air did not disappear, it is being sucked up in a vortex.
- An approaching cloud wall or cloud of debris: Despite what the movies have shown us, tornados do not always appear in the twister form that we know from Dorothy being sucked up or from the storm chasers. Instead, they can appear as a cloud of debris moving quickly in your direction.
- The appearance of something hopping: If you see a cloud that appears to be hopping around, that is likely a tornado. Again, the movies depict them staying on the ground, but the reality is that these storms can touch land, then go back up, and touch down in another area.
- A loud roar: The best sound to compare this to is that of a freight train. You will be able to hear that sound for miles away, but that does not mean you shouldn't take immediate cover.
The key point here is to be aware of what is going on weather-wise, whether you are inside or out. For many, if you are outside, you will already be taking shelter, but you may need to try to seek shelter elsewhere. If you are outside with no shelter, find a low-lying ditch, and hide in there until the storm has passed. Cover your head, to protect yourself from any flying debris. If you are near a house or building, immediately head to an internal room with no windows. You'll want to stay on the first floor, and if you have pets, gather them up and take them in with you. Bathrooms are common rooms chosen for this situation, so if that is your choice, get in the bathtub, and if you have time, grab a couple of pillows. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the house will not be damaged, and you may have some debris fall on you. There is no real way to predict a tornado, so stay aware, keep your eyes open, and if the weather seems weird, get to shelter. Don't wait until you see the funnel cloud approaching, get in shelter as soon as you notice some signs of a tornado. They can move very quickly or very slowly, and are exceptionally unpredictable.