Late afternoons on hot spring days are the most likely time for tornadoes to occur. This is not the rule however. Tornadoes may occur in any month of the year, day or night. Tornadoes may occur without warning. You can not always rely on weather reports of an approaching tornado, conditions change to rapidly. On the average, 771 tornadoes are reported annually throughout the United States.
- Thunderstorm Watch
- Severe thunderstorms are possible in and around the watch area.
- Thunderstorm Warning
- Severe thunderstorms occuring in warning area.
- Tornado Watch
- An announcement that tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are possible in a specified area. More simply put, "conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop".
- Tornado Warning
- An announcement that a tornado has been detected in a specified area. Take shelter. More simply put, "a tornado has actually been sighted".
Protect Yourself - Protect Your Family
- At Home
- The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement, underground. If there is no basement (which is the case for most of us here in Florida), go to a small room nearest the center of your home. A bathroom or a closet. Place as many walls between yourself and the outside of your home as possible.
- Mobile Homes
- Residents of mobile homes should find shelter elsewhere at signs of severe weather. Unfortunately, mobile homes have greater risk of damage from high winds. Make arrangements for yourself and your family to go elsewhere if the need should arise. Go stay with a friend or relative. As a last resort, go outside and lie flat on the ground with your hands covering your head and neck.
- In Your Vehicle
- Your vehicle is the least safe place to be during a tornado. Tornadoes can toss cars - even large trucks - around like toys. Never try to outrun a tornado. If you see a funnel cloud or hear a warning is issued while you are in your vehicle, leave it and find shelter in a building. If a tornado approaches and there are no safe structures nearby, lie flat in a ditch or other ground depression with your arms over your head.
Tornado Danger Signs
- Severe Thunderstorms
- Heavy Rain
- Roaring Noise
- Funnel Cloud
- Strong Winds