Springtime is here, but it is also a time for unpredictable weather in Amherst, NY
Springtime is here, but it is also a time for unpredictable weather— meaning you should always be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado touchdown.
The highest occurrences of tornadoes, traditionally, occur in April and May, which means we are currently in the height of tornado season throughout the United States.
Included in this blog are some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.
<h4tornadoes-form">How Tornadoes Form
There are, roughly, 1,200 tornadoes occurrences in the U.S. each year, and they are spawned by thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells.”
When a tornado forms there is an event where the wind speed has changed, creating a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.
The tornado’s signature funnel cloud is transparent and not visible at first, but it becomes more visible when water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or when dust and debris are picked up. Typically, a tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster have been observed. Hail and intense winds of over 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.
Tornadoes generally occur during the spring and summertime, during the late afternoon, but remember that they can occur anytime and anywhere.
<h4to-do-in-a-tornado-warning">What to Do in a Tornado Warning
Understanding the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning is your first step of defense. A watch will be issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning is issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.
Take action in finding a shelter immediately if a warning has been issued for your area, especially if you are in the tornado’s path.
- Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
- The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
- If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
- If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
You should make sure your home shelter is equipped with flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries.
If you are out on the road during a tornado, NEVER try to outrun a tornado. Also, when you are taking shelter in your home, you can provide additional cover by using furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets to help keep your head and neck covered.
Tornadoes can be devastating for the areas where they touch down. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning about potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.
If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Amherst-Clarence is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.