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Tornado Truths: Test Your Tornado Knowledge

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Tornado Truths: Test Your Tornado Knowledge

Terms to know…

“Tornado Watch” indicates that severe storm conditions are expected to surface in your area, and could result in a tornado. Remain alert for approaching storms. Know what counties or parishes are in the watch area by listening to your local radio/television station.

“Tornado Warning” indicates that an actual tornado has been sighted in your area, or is indicated by weather radar.

Information courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (

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1 chris { 03.24.15 at 12:06 am }

You will always have hail with a tornado but will never have a tornado without hail……

2 Michael Amato { 03.23.15 at 10:59 pm }

My friend Dave & I chased a huge thunder storm into northern Connecticut when it produced the Weathersfield tornado. We got ourselves into a building just before the golf ball size hail hit. As soon as the hail stopped, the rain wrapped tornado hit us & we had all we could do to hold the doors shut. As soon as the twister went by, it grew into an EF 3 tornado & there were fatalities. During another chase, my friend Joe & I encountered the Stamford Ct. tornado. As we watched start to decay, a small EF 0 tornado formed & whacked us with 40-50 MPH winds. Our car shook Quite a bit.

3 Amy Thomas { 03.23.15 at 4:29 pm }

What I remember most about the tornadoes I have seen been near when happened is the taste in the air and the green sky. People need to me more aware of the conditions and pay attention.

4 Jacque Smith { 03.23.15 at 3:55 pm }

Our home was hit by a tornado on 11/17/13. It was an exceptionally nice November day. The meteorologists had been talking for 4 days that we would probably see an intense storm. When the sirens went off, my husband and I went out on our deck and saw it forming. We realized it was coming right at us, so we took shelter in our basement. I will never forget that awful roar that sounded like a jet sitting on top of our home. We could hear debris hitting the house and other horrible sounds which was our home and others on our court coming apart. Our town has never taken a direct hit from a tornado. I was never afraid of storms until this happened, but now I’m terrified.

5 Joan Cooper { 03.23.15 at 3:54 pm }

i learned awhile back not to get under tables or heavy furniture but to lay beside them, so if the walls or roof cave, you aren’t pinned but have a space. Good advice for hurricanes and earthquakes too. I lived in Michigan when I was younger, I’ve witnessed the “calm” before the storm and the green sky with the dragon tail sail over the house. It was weird, my family would watch thru the large windows these close encounters. I always headed for the bathroom in the center of the house and climb into the bathtub. We didn’t have a basement.

6 Regena { 05.10.14 at 9:07 am }

well it was scary

7 Kathryn Aqua { 04.29.14 at 1:22 pm }

I believe they are saying leave the windows as they are. Focus on getting yourself and your family to safety vs. taking time to open (or close) windows. They used to say to open the windows, because they thought closed windows made the house explode. This is no longer considered to be true. For one thing, if the windows are closed, the flying debris is going to break them anyway. If your windows are closed, leave them closed. If they are open, leave them open. Go to your safe place and don’t worry about the windows!

8 Regena { 04.29.14 at 2:13 am }

We took a direct hit by an EF-4 tornado in Crittenden March 2, 2012. Our saving grace was the fact that our house was over 150 years old and solid. It destroyed our house, barns, cows etc., but we were in the hallway. My grandbabies and their dad was in the closet beneath the steps. We couldn’t get my youngest daughters wheelchair in there so her sister and I rode it out in the hall with her. Yes the sky did get a greenish cast to it . Yes it sounded like a train . We live near a double track. No we didn’t see it. It was behind a wall of water. I sent everyone to the center of the hallway because I started hearing glass breaking in the living room after I had closed the pocket doors.

9 Kat { 04.28.14 at 8:44 pm }

We had a tornado that didn’t quite touch down in our neighborhood a couple of years back that happened around 1 a.m. It was the change of atmosphere and light show that woke us up! Lightning was flashing in all directions and the air pressure changed drastically. We awoke to green-tinted blackness then plentiful rain blowing sideways. Our poor cat was outside, trapped under a neighbor’s panel truck and there was no way to go get him with the stuff flying around. Luckily, he made it through the storm a-ok, but he was spooked for days. The damage just from that event was incredible – we had eight to ten feet of limbs covering the entire back yard (not a small yard). The funnel moved on to touch down elsewhere.

10 Buffi { 04.28.14 at 6:33 pm }

I agree, Richard. I have seen several living in Oklahoma and have never made the “Train” correlation. They always sounded like jet planes, to me. Also, I always noticed the sky being an unusually crazy pink or orange color just before a tornado versus green.

11 Richard { 05.26.12 at 2:01 pm }

I personally survived the May third tornado which was the storm with the srongest winds ever recorded. At that speed it sounded more like a jet taking off to me. It is something that I would never foreget. You kow something though, I am not afraid of tornades at all. When you liove in Oklahoma most of you life it is something you kind of get use to.The reason why this part of the country is known as tornado alley is because we are close to the gulf and also close to the Rockies.
Warm moist air comes up form the gulf and cool dry air comes down from the rockies.
These air masses come togeather over North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas thus we have tornades.

12 robert young { 11.14.11 at 12:49 pm }

i do not like TORNADO

13 Rosemary Dias { 04.20.11 at 1:44 pm }

Very helpful information. I live in hurricane country but there have been tornadoes here on occasion. I actually witnessed two very strong tornadoes when I lived in Atlanta. I will never forget the sight of the tornadoes or the sound of the freight train. Very, very helpful information in this article. I didn’t know about the green sky. Going to share this with my friends every where.

14 Sandi Duncan { 04.20.11 at 10:53 am }

Thanks for your question Patricia,
According to some additional research the old theory was to keep windows open but NOW they are saying that windows should stay shut. Researchers realize that wind blowing into open, or broken, windows pushes up on the roof. At the same time, wind blowing over the roof is making it act like an airplane wing that generates a lifting force. If the roof lifts off, the walls can fall outward, making it look like the building exploded.

So it’s best to keep them closed.

15 Patricia Sharr { 04.20.11 at 10:24 am }

This is a nice article.Could be life saving!Is there a reason that the windows should not be opened?Ps I love this site.

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