History UsefulNotes / Tornadoes

15th Jan '17 1:34:37 PM Demetrios
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** '''The sky turning green is a telltale sign of a tornado.'''

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** '''The sky turning an eerie shade of green is a telltale sign of a tornado.'''
2nd Jan '17 8:33:25 AM RampinUp46
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** Hail or heavy rain followed by either a dead calm or sudden wind shift. BEWARE OF RAIN-WRAPPED TORNADOES.
** A loud, continuous roar or rumble that does not dissipate.

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** Hail or heavy rain followed by either a dead calm or sudden wind shift. BEWARE '''BEWARE OF RAIN-WRAPPED TORNADOES.
TORNADOES.'''
** A loud, continuous roar or rumble (comparable to the sound of thunder or a passing train) that does not dissipate.



** A ''sudden'' power outage (e.g. the power was fine one minute, flickering and/or instantly out the next) if storms are around is also a possibly serious warning sign. If this happens in combination with ''any'' of the above, ''run'' for the best cover in your house because it means the tornado is right on top of you.

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** A ''sudden'' power outage (e.g. the power was fine one minute, flickering and/or instantly out the next) if storms are around is also a possibly serious warning sign. If this happens in combination with ''any'' of the above, ''run'' for the best cover in your house house, because it means the tornado is heading in your direction, if it's not already right on top of you.



** '''NOTICE: FOLLOWING THESE INSTRUCTIONS WILL NOT COMPLETELY GUARANTEE YOUR SAFETY! HOWEVER, DISREGARDING THEM WILL PRACTICALLY GUARANTEE YOUR DEATH! REMEMBER, THERE IS NO SAFE PLACE IN A TORNADO, ONLY LESS DANGEROUS ONES.'''

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** '''NOTICE: FOLLOWING THESE INSTRUCTIONS WILL NOT COMPLETELY GUARANTEE YOUR SAFETY! HOWEVER, SAFETY, HOWEVER DISREGARDING THEM WILL PRACTICALLY GUARANTEE YOUR DEATH! REMEMBER, THERE IS NO SAFE PLACE IN A TORNADO, ONLY LESS DANGEROUS ONES.'''



*** For those who live in mobile homes and ''cannot'' evacuate quickly via vehicle - or who fear an unwarned-for tornado that can't be escaped - a very good idea is to have an underground shelter built UNDER the mobile home with an entrance to the shelter through the floor of the mobile home or immediately outside one of the doors.

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*** For those who live in mobile homes and ''cannot'' evacuate quickly via vehicle - or who fear an unwarned-for a tornado that can't be escaped - a very good idea is to have an underground shelter built UNDER the mobile home with an entrance to the shelter through the floor of the mobile home or immediately outside one of the doors. door.



*** If you do not have them on already and are able to get to them, put on a pair of thick-soled shoes when a tornado watch is issued and have a sturdy rain jacket within reach. In the aftermath of a tornado, you will need them. Having a motorcycle helmet with visor (or a bicycle helmet and goggles) nearby is also a good idea - most fatal injuries are head injuries, and there's going to be a lot of sand/mud/grit/glass you do ''not'' want in your eyes.

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*** If you do not have them on already and are able to get to them, put on a pair of thick-soled shoes when a tornado watch is issued and have a sturdy rain jacket within reach. In the aftermath of a tornado, you will need them. Having a motorcycle helmet with visor (or a bicycle helmet and goggles) nearby is also a good idea - most fatal injuries are idea, as flying debris striking you in the head injuries, could prove to be fatal, and there's going to be a lot of sand/mud/grit/glass you do ''not'' want in your eyes.



*** Avoid windows. If it shatters, it will send shards flying everywhere.

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*** Avoid windows. Stay as far away from any windows as possible. If it shatters, they shatter, it will send shards flying everywhere.



*** If there is a fixed structure nearby, like a house or a gas station, head inside and get into an inside room.

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*** If there is a fixed structure nearby, like a house or a gas station, head inside and get into an inside room. If you find yourself in a building that has a lot of open space (such as a supermarket or a bank), head for the sturdiest place you can, such as a walk-in freezer or a vault if at all possible.



*** '''DO NOT TRY AND HIDE UNDER AN OVERPASS. AN OVERPASS WILL ''NOT'' PROTECT YOU FROM A TORNADO.''' The details will be explained below.

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*** '''DO NOT TRY AND HIDE UNDER AN OVERPASS. AN OVERPASS THIS WILL ''NOT'' PROTECT YOU FROM A TORNADO.''' The details will be explained below.



* ''' The Fujita Scale''' or '''F-Scale''' was developed by Dr. Ted Fujita as a way to equate certain amounts of damage with a tornado's wind speed. Implemented in 1971, it ranked tornadoes on a six point scale from 0 to 5. It was a good idea, but it had some major problems. It did not take into account how different structures handle being struck by a tornado, and many other factors. Also, the evaluation of the damage itself was very subjective. On February 1, 2007, the F-scale was abandoned for the Enhanced Fujita Scale, but only in the US. Canada didn't switch over until April 1, 2013.

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* ''' The Fujita Scale''' or '''F-Scale''' was developed by Dr. Ted Fujita as a way to equate certain amounts of damage with a tornado's wind speed. Implemented in 1971, it ranked tornadoes on a six point scale from 0 to 5. It was a good idea, but it had some major problems. It did not problems, such as its inability to take into account how different structures handle being struck by a tornado, and many other factors. Also, tornado or that the evaluation of the damage itself was very subjective. On February 1, 2007, the F-scale F-Scale was abandoned for replaced with the Enhanced Fujita Scale, but only in the US. United States for a period of time; Canada didn't switch over until April 1, 2013.2013. Any tornado that was previously ranked using the Fujita Scale was not reevaluated post-switchover, so a tornado that was ranked as an F3 in 1997 (for instance) would remain an F3, regardless of whether or not its damage would have justified a higher, lower, or similar rating on the EF-Scale.



*** '''False:''' The funnel cloud is only the center of the tornado, the winds themselves extend ''well'' outside the funnel cloud. Actually the funnel cloud is just the part of the tornado where the pressure drops low enough for water vapor to condense.

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*** '''False:''' The funnel cloud is only the center of the tornado, the winds themselves extend ''well'' outside the funnel cloud. Actually cloud, which is why it's not uncommon to see a debris cloud extending beyond the funnel cloud (case in point, the page image). The funnel cloud is just simply the part of the tornado where the pressure drops low enough for water vapor to condense.


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* '''Most Destructive Tornado'''
** This label is an infamous matter of opinion (especially on storm chaser forums) since one person's definition of "most destructive" varies from another's, especially when you take fatalities, damage to physical structures, speed, and so on into account, so [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment in the interest of not starting a flame war]], we won't be giving our opinion on this page. That being said, those aforementioned variables (among others) ''do'' have records that aren't contested or disputed as of this writing, so they will be listed below.
11th Dec '16 6:24:05 PM RampinUp46
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*** The winds of a tornado are horizontal, not vertical. They are not "sucking you up." Instead, they are coming at you very hard from the side. A surface above your head will do ''nothing'' to protect you from them. Additionally, the winds are ''rotating'', meaning that you will get hit from all four sides. An overpass might block, say, the south wind, but the north wind will be coming right at your face.
*** Because the winds can still get to you, the objects and debris they are carrying can too.
*** The safest place under an overpass ''seems'' to be the small triangle where the sloping bank meets the road above. This is quite false -- the higher you are, the stronger the wind. Nor is human strength any match for a tornado's gust -- you may think you can brace yourself against the girders (if there ''are'' girders), but you are probably dead wrong. On top of all this, the restricted area creates a wind tunnel effect, making the winds stronger yet.

to:

*** The winds of a tornado are horizontal, not vertical. They are not "sucking you up." Instead, up"; instead, they are coming at you very hard from the side. A surface above your head will do ''nothing'' to protect you from them. Additionally, the winds are ''rotating'', meaning that you will get hit from all four sides. An overpass might block, say, the south wind, but the north wind will be coming right at your face.
*** Because
face -- and because the winds can still get to you, the objects and debris they are carrying can too.too, leading you to be exposed to what essentially amounts to shrapnel.
*** The safest place under an overpass ''seems'' to be the small triangle where the sloping bank meets the road above. This is quite false -- the higher you are, the stronger the wind. Nor is human strength any match for a tornado's gust wind -- you and on top of all this, the restricted area creates a wind tunnel effect, making the winds stronger yet. You may think you can brace yourself against the girders (if there ''are'' girders), but human strength is absolutely no match for the gust of a tornado. If you are probably dead wrong. On top of all doubt this, picture how well you could brace yourself after running full force into a solid surface such as concrete or steel, and then remember that the restricted area creates a wind tunnel effect, making the winds stronger yet.tornado will throw you much harder than that.



*** '''Why does this myth persist?''' It most likely runs on two things: the general solidity of an overpass and the prevalent misconception that a tornado has vertical suction. It doesn't help that there is at least one highly-publicized case where a news crew successfully weathered a tornado under an overpass -- the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_26,_1991_tornado_outbreak#El_Dorado_Lake.2FKansas_Turnpike_Underpass.2C_Kansas 1991 El Dorado, Kansas tornado]] -- '''BUT''' this was something of an anomaly. Firstly, the tornado went south of the overpass and did not directly strike. Secondly, this particular overpass had heavy girders forming an odd, sheltered "box" under the roadway which blocked much of the horizontal force of the wind -- a feature distinctly ''lacking'' in most overpasses. Nevertheless, many others have decided that this "proves" that an overpass provides shelter from a tornado, sometimes to their detriment.
*** '''Case in point''': on May 3, 1999 three different overpasses took direct hits from tornadoes, two of these from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_Bridge_Creek%E2%80%93Moore_tornado the legendary Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma tornado]]. At least one fatality occurred at each overpass, and virtually everyone that managed to survive at these locations suffered moderate to life-threatening injury, including several lost limbs.

to:

*** '''Why does this myth persist?''' It most likely runs on two things: the general solidity of an overpass and the prevalent misconception that a tornado has vertical suction. It doesn't help that there is at least one highly-publicized case where a news crew successfully weathered a tornado under an overpass -- the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_26,_1991_tornado_outbreak#El_Dorado_Lake.2FKansas_Turnpike_Underpass.2C_Kansas 1991 El Dorado, Kansas tornado]] -- '''BUT''' this was something of an anomaly. Firstly, the tornado went south of the overpass and did not directly strike. Secondly, this particular overpass had heavy girders forming an odd, sheltered "box" under the roadway which blocked much of the horizontal force of the wind -- a feature distinctly ''lacking'' in most overpasses. Nevertheless, many others have decided that this "proves" that an overpass provides shelter from a tornado, sometimes to their detriment.
*** '''Case
detriment; case in point''': point, on May 3, 1999 three different overpasses took direct hits from tornadoes, two of these from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_Bridge_Creek%E2%80%93Moore_tornado the legendary Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma tornado]]. At least one fatality occurred at each overpass, and virtually everyone that managed to survive at these locations suffered moderate to life-threatening injury, including several lost limbs.



*** The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1997_Central_Texas_tornado_outbreak#F-5_Jarrell_tornado May 27, 1997 Jarrell, Texas tornado]] is infamous among those who study tornadoes for a multitude of reasons, namely the [[https://extremeplanet.me/2012/06/26/aerial-damage-from-the-f5-jarrell-tornado-the-most-intense-tornado-damage-ever-photographed/ absolutely devastating]] damage it caused (which was arguably made worse because the tornado itself was an unusually slow-moving one) coupled with the fact that the tornado went from a stationary rope tornado to a multi-vortex wedge tornado that abruptly started heading southwest and literally wiped an entire neighborhood off the face of the earth.



*** '''False:''' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tornadoes_striking_downtown_areas Yes they can.]] It's rare since the odds of a tornado hitting any one particular area is a complete game of chance, but it is still possible. See the Costliest Tornado below, which was costly ''because'' it hit a downtown area.

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*** '''False:''' [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tornadoes_striking_downtown_areas Yes Yes, they absolutely can.]] It's rare since the odds of a tornado hitting any one particular area is a complete game of chance, but it is still possible. See the Costliest Tornado below, which was costly ''because'' it hit a downtown area.
12th Apr '16 1:19:09 PM Demetrios
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Added DiffLines:

** '''The sky turning green is a telltale sign of a tornado.'''
*** '''Partially true:''' A green sky can be a sign of severe weather in general, not just a tornado.
12th Dec '15 3:24:12 AM Ulrik54
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*** '''IF YOU ARE IN A MOBILE HOME, ''GET OUT IMMEDIATELY!!!'' ''' Put on your helmet as you are doing so. Then, head to the nearest underground space or fixed structure and get inside, or head into the closest ditch if there isn't anything else nearby. If you have more lead time (20-30 minutes of warning) driving out of the storm's path is a better idea than a ditch. Mobile homes are '' '''VERY''' '' dangerous places to be in a tornado, and can be destroyed by even the smallest ones. Despite previous advice to the contrary, you even have a better chance of surviving ''driving away from the tornado in a vehicle'' or ''outside in a ditch'' than you do in a mobile home. GET. OUT. Unless, of course, you have an underground shelter built under or next to the mobile home, in which case get down into it.

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*** '''IF YOU ARE IN A MOBILE HOME, ''GET OUT IMMEDIATELY!!!'' ''' Put on your helmet as you are doing so. Then, head to the nearest underground space or fixed structure and get inside, or head into the closest ditch if there isn't anything else nearby. If you have more lead time (20-30 minutes of warning) driving out of the storm's path is a better idea than a ditch. Mobile homes are '' '''VERY''' '' dangerous places to be in a tornado, and can be destroyed by even the smallest ones. Despite previous advice to the contrary, you even have a better chance of surviving ''driving away from the tornado in a vehicle'' or ''outside in a ditch'' than you do in a mobile home. [[PunctuatedForEmphasis GET. OUT. ]] Unless, of course, you have an underground shelter built under or next to the mobile home, in which case get down into it.
8th Aug '15 10:13:01 PM Chariset
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Tornadoes are quite possibly the most spectacular and destructive of all meteorological phenomena. Thus it is quite popular for them to show up in fiction. However, there are a great many misconceptions and myths surrounding them, not to mention numerous unrealistic portrayals in media (which is why DoNotTouchTheFunnelCloud is a trope), so we made this page to set down the facts about these astonishing, deadly whims of weather.

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Tornadoes are quite possibly the most spectacular and destructive of all meteorological phenomena. Thus it is quite popular for them to show up in fiction. However, there are a great many misconceptions and myths surrounding them, not to mention numerous unrealistic portrayals in media (which is why DoNotTouchTheFunnelCloud is a trope), so we made this page to set down the facts about these astonishing, astonishing and potentially deadly whims of weather.
12th Jun '15 11:23:33 AM MagmarFire
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*** In heavy rain/low visibility conditions (such as those in Dixie Alley or an urban area as opposed to the Great Plains, and with high precipitation storms, ESPECIALLY without up to date radar but even with it), in high traffic, with fast-moving or erratically-moving storms, or if you are not absolutely sure of the best direction to take and the way you will drive, trying to outrun a tornado is a ''horrible'' idea -- experienced and trained storm chasers and storm spotters have had close calls, lost vehicles, gotten injured, or even ''died'' trying to flee storms under such conditions. Your best bet, as mentioned above, is to drive to the nearest fixed building or shelter if possible, and to get into the nearest non-flooded ditch or depression or culvert or the like and cover your head if you cannot.
12th Jun '15 11:11:18 AM MagmarFire
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*** '''BOTH TRUE AND FALSE.''' Yes, in some circumstances, you ''can'' outrun a tornado in a vehicle and it's even an advisable idea in those circumstances. People have survived tornadoes doing this (and it's how storm chasers generally survive being near tornadoes). At the same time, there are situations where you ''cannot'' outrun a tornado in a vehicle, and you are best getting off the road ''immediately'' into the strongest structure available.

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*** '''BOTH TRUE AND FALSE.''' Yes, in some circumstances, you ''can'' outrun a tornado in a vehicle and it's even an advisable idea in those circumstances. People have survived tornadoes doing this (and it's how storm chasers generally survive being near tornadoes). At the same time, there are situations where you ''cannot'' outrun a tornado in a vehicle, and in those situations, you are best getting off the road ''immediately'' into the strongest structure available. Of note is this storm chaser's opinion on the matter: http://stormhorn.com/2010/11/14/leave-your-car-and-take-shelter-in-a-ditch-not-so-fast/
12th Jun '15 11:07:27 AM MagmarFire
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*** '''BOTH TRUE AND FALSE.''' Yes, in some circumstances, you ''can'' outrun a tornado in a vehicle and it's even an advisable idea in those circumstances. People have survived tornadoes doing this (and it's how storm chasers generally survive being near tornadoes). At the same time, in other circumstances, you ''cannot'' outrun a tornado in a vehicle and you are best getting off the road ''immediately'' into the strongest structure available or even into a ditch.

to:

*** '''BOTH TRUE AND FALSE.''' Yes, in some circumstances, you ''can'' outrun a tornado in a vehicle and it's even an advisable idea in those circumstances. People have survived tornadoes doing this (and it's how storm chasers generally survive being near tornadoes). At the same time, in other circumstances, there are situations where you ''cannot'' outrun a tornado in a vehicle vehicle, and you are best getting off the road ''immediately'' into the strongest structure available or even into a ditch.available.
25th Nov '14 3:26:27 PM theAdeptRogue
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*** '''False:''' Many do, but not always. Belief in this is what likely got several storm chasers killed or injured (including the very experienced scientist chaser Tim Samaras, who was killed along with his son and his chase partner, and a crew from TheWeatherChannel that got injured) in the 2013 El Reno, Oklahoma tornado -- most of the chasers who came too close to the tornado seemed to be traveling under the assumption that the tornado was moving northeast. The circulation was simply too wide (with satellite tornadoes and variable wind directions) to have ''any'' safety margin in almost any direction -- distance and/or shelter, not direction, was the only safeguard.

to:

*** '''False:''' Many do, but not always. Belief in this is what likely got several storm chasers killed or injured (including the very experienced scientist chaser Tim Samaras, who was killed along with his son and his chase partner, and a crew from TheWeatherChannel Creator/TheWeatherChannel that got injured) in the 2013 El Reno, Oklahoma tornado -- most of the chasers who came too close to the tornado seemed to be traveling under the assumption that the tornado was moving northeast. The circulation was simply too wide (with satellite tornadoes and variable wind directions) to have ''any'' safety margin in almost any direction -- distance and/or shelter, not direction, was the only safeguard.
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