Your first line of defense in tornado weather is always the ability to spot one. If you know one is coming ahead of time then you have more time to be able to find shelter or get out of the region.
All States and Provinces have what is referred to as a “Weather Watch” and this can be further classified into a “Tornado Watch” when the threat becomes high enough. If you live in a tornado prone zone then make sure that you keep track of any kind of weather watch; the reason for this is that certain strong conditions can quickly change into tornado prone weather. If you stay ahead of the game by preparing for a tornado when there is only a severe storm watch, then you will be ahead of the game.
As soon as a “weather watch” of any kind is called, make sure that you stay close to your TV, or radio so that you get up to the minute warnings. The best thing to have is a battery operated weather radio that is small enough so that you can take it wherever you go. The weather reports will keep you advised on the path of the storm, whether the storm has indeed turned into a tornado, and when you can resume regular activity in your area.
Study up on meteorology and learn how to read possible tornado storms. Tornados tend to form when the weather is weirdly hot or humid. The tornado begins because cold and hot air masses collide and create a vortex of contending temperatures. There are often large and unusually strong sudden gusts of air just before a tornado starts. This begins as the two colliding air masses strike each other and begin to exchange energy. Many say that when the sky turns green, it is a sure sign that a tornado is about to be created. Keep an eye out for these odd colorations in the sky as they are portents of fowl storms and tornados.
Any time that you see large or small clouds begin to spin about, take shelter or get out of the area as quickly as you can. If it is raining really hard, it becomes very difficult to see the clouds above. If this is the case then take it for granted that you are in danger and move as quickly as you can to the best shelter that you can find. A spinning mass of clouds can sometimes seem like a large rain storm moving quickly along, in this case look just above and just below the cloud base to see if you can see any spinning movement. If you do see spinning, you are most likely seeing the beginning of a tornado. Even when the clouds seem to be moving around slowly, realize that they are sometimes miles from the center of the storm and are often far more massive then they may appear. Any cloud moving in even a slow vortex means that there is an incredibly powerful core driving this movement.
Tornados can change direction very quickly and move incredibly fast. Even in a fast moving car, you may not be able to outrun them. Stay alert for signs of the tornado so that you never put yourself in a situation where you might be trapped with no place to go. Do not take any chances when confronted with the possibility of a tornado, find shelter as soon as possible. At night keep your ears open and listen for any large thunderous noise. An incoming tornado can sound like a freight train coming straight at you, if you hear this noise then assume you are in the path of a tornado.
To spot a tornado:
- Always keep a battery operated radio with you.
- Stay most vigilant during Tornado season( January to November)
- Watch out for any bad weather condition
- Monitor storms as they may develop tornados
- Check for a green sky
- Be alert to any sudden and unexpected wind gusts
- Check above and below large cloud base for spinning
- Keep an ear open for sounds of a freight train
- ALWAYS, know where the closest shelter is so that you can go to it instantly