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SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS: Tornadoes

10 months 3 weeks 2 days ago March 02, 2016 Mar 2, 2016 Wednesday, March 02 2016 March 02, 2016 11:10 AM in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather Center

A tornado is a rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm cloud to the ground.

The National Weather Service will issue a TORNADO WARNING when a one is observed by spotters or indicated by radar. Those within the warned area should take immediate safety action.

Strength measured by the speed of their swirling winds, the most violent tornadoes can produce winds over 200mph. The Enhanced Fujita Scale is used to rate tornadoes—officially determined after the fact based on damage observations. The ratings, corresponding wind speeds, and expected damages are as follows:

ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE

WEAK

EF0

65-85mph

shingle, siding, gutter damage, broken tree branches

EF1

86-110mph

roof damage, windows broken, mobile homes overturned

STRONG

EF2

111-135mph

roofs torn, homes shifted, trees snapped, cars rolled

EF3

136-165mph

sturdy buildings damaged, tree bark removed, cars thrown

VIOLENT

EF4

166-200mph

Sturdy buildings leveled, cars thrown long distances

EF5

>200mph

sturdy buildings thrown long distances, trees stripped bare

 

For Louisiana, tornadoes can occur any time of the year but are most likely in March, April and May with a secondary peak in November. Most occur in the afternoon and evening but are not impossible overnight. Especially in the saturated air of the south—many tornadoes may be rain-wrapped and difficult to see until it is too late, which is why it’s important to take all warnings seriously!

The safest place to be in a tornado is below ground. If that is not an option, move to the lowest interior room away from windows in a sturdy building. Protect your head from flying debris. If you can, use a helmet, pillow or anything else that will provide better protection than your hands. Mobile homes are not safe—if you can, evacuate them for a stronger shelter. Also, DO NOT take shelter under a highway or overpass.

Tornadoes are very fresh in the minds of those across Southeast Louisiana. Just last week, the region saw it’s largest tornado outbreak ever recorded. Click here for the full assessment.

Stay ahead of severe weather; stay in touch with our weather team on social media:

 

Facebook: WBRZ Weather

Twitter: @2StormView

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