Is it a thunderstorm or a tornado? Identifying the signs of a forming tornado isn’t always as simple as it would seem. Spotting the signs too late could result in serious risk to you and your loved ones. In today’s blog, Stronghold shares some examples of tornado warning signs that could help you and your family protect yourselves from an incoming storm.
One of the easiest and most obvious signs a tornado is forming is a large funnel-shaped cloud in the sky. This funnel is a vortex of condensed water vapor and hot and cold air spinning at a high velocity. If this cloud seems to be lowering towards the ground, there is a good chance it could turn into a deadly tornado.
While the sky may not be fluorescent green, a dark greenish tint in the sky may be a sign that a tornado may form. Particles in the air scatter light. Usually these particles scatter violet and blue light during the day, which is why the sky appears blue. When thunderstorms and bad weather hit later in the day, the sun behind the clouds creates a reddish tint. When blue particles under a thundercloud hit this red tint, it makes the light appear green. If you think a tornado may form, look for these greenish tints to predict if you should find a place to take cover.
Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. This is the calm before the storm. When warm and cool air mix, the moist air is pulled to the inside of the storm and leaves a low-pressure vacuum. The vortex of moist air is then sucked through the funnel cloud and out of the top where it begins to form a tornado. Eventually, the air starts to descend back down and becomes warmer and drier. This warm and dry air is much more stable, causing an eerie calmness when it finally settles. If you believe a tornado is coming, take a moment to listen to what’s outside. Do you hear any birds or insects? These animals typically go quiet when they sense a large storm or tornado heading their way.
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