About Tornadoes

Spawning from the strong thunderstorm events, tornadoes are a deadly threat for our region.  Located in “Tornado Alley,” these catastrophic storms are almost a normal occurrence in Texas. Each year, our State experiences an average of 125 tornadoes of varying intensities.  Tornadoes can occur at any time, however they are most likely to occur during the spring or summer months between the hours of 3 and 9 PM.  So, if you see a Tornado Watch or Tornado Warning appear while watching TV after work, pay attention and take cover!

 Tornado Facts

  • Thousands of tornadoes occur each year in the United States.  Texas sees an average of 125 tornadoes a year, more than any other state!  Oklahoma averages 57 tornadoes per year.
  • Tornadoes are often accompanied by hail, lightning, and heavy rainfall.
  • The destructive forces of a tornado can quickly decimate buildings and vehicles.
  • Often, intense straight-line winds are confused for tornadic activity.

–Source: NOAA


What to Look For

  • Dark skies, often with a greenish tone
  • A heavy, lowering cloud that may begin to rotate.  These supercells are often rain-free
  • Large hail
  • Loud roar, often compared to the sound of a freight train

— Source: National Weather Service

Staying Safe During a Tornado

  • Designate a safe place in your home or business, and go there during harsh weather.
  • If an underground basement or shelter is not available, move to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor of the building.
  • Stay away from windows.  The pressure and high-velocity winds, as well as debris, can easily break glass and injure you severely.
  • Leave your vehicle immediately and seek shelter in a sturdy building.  Never try to outrun a tornado!
  • Mobile homes should be abandoned immediately.  If no sturdy shelter is available, take cover in a low-lying area such as a ditch or creek.  Lay flat on your stomach with your hands covering your head.
  • Some tornadoes may develop so rapidly that advanced warning is not possible.  Stay alert for signs of a tornado and watch for debris.