Tornado Info - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

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Tornado Info

Tornadoes can last from just a few seconds to more than an hour! April, May and June are the most active months for tornadoes.

A tornado watch means a tornado might happen, so you should be aware of the possibility of severe weather.

A tornado warning means a tornado has been detected. The word "warning" means you should take immediate action!

What to look for:

  • Dark, often greenish sky
  • Wall Cloud Large
  • Hail
  • Loud roar similar to the sound of a train


Although tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, these destructive forces of nature are found most frequently in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains during the spring and summer months. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries. A tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 miles per hour or more. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.

Tornadoes can occur at anytime of day, at anytime of the year.  The average tornado moves from the wouthwest to the northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. The average forward speed is 30 MPH, but may vary from nearly stationary to 70 MPH.

Tornadoes are classified by the severity of damage that they cause. This is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 known as the FUJITA SCALE. Tornadoes that are rated as an F-3 or higher are said to be Violent Tornadoes. The earlier mentioned Bullitt County tornado was mainly an F-3, but did reach F-4 status briefly.

Q: Who is most at risk from tornadoes?
A: Those who are in mobile homes and automobiles.

Watches and Warnings

Tornado Watch
Conditions are right for tornadoes to form. When your area is under a Tornado Watch

Tornado Warning
A tornado has been spotted by a trained observer or detected on Doppler Radar. Take action immediately.

Tornado Safety Tips

At Home

  • Go to the basement, under the stairs or under a heavy piece of furniture like a table or workbench.
  • Get under heavy furniture, and cover your head with blankets or pillows. The biggest threat of death or injury comes from head injuries caused by flying or falling debris.
  • Keep windows closed and stay away from them.

In School

  • Go to the lowest floor or basement.
  • Get to interior rooms or hallways and protect your head.
  • Stay out of gymnasiums and auditoriums.

In Public Buildings

  • Go to designated shelter, an interior hallway or small room on the lowest floor.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Do not go to your car.

In Open Country

  • Move away from a tornado at right angles.
  • If a tornado is near, DO NOT try to outrun it.
  • Get out of your car, lie flat in a ditch or depression.
  • Stay away from large trees or metal poles.
  • Cover your head.

In Mobile Homes

  • Leave your mobile home immediately.
  • If there is no designated community shelter, take cover in a ditch or depression.
  • Persons in mobile homes should have a plan of action before threatening weather occurs.

Tornadoes often mean lightning, too Stay away from anything that uses electricity. Stay away from anything metal. DO NOT try to outrun a tornado in your car. Tornadoes can pick up a car and throw it through the air. If you are in your car and a tornado approaches, get out of your car, lie flat in the nearest ditch, and cover your head with your hands.

Severe Weather Reports are available on NewsChannel 11 and our Radio Network (KLLL, KMMX &KONE)

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