Rain Returns to North Texas
A diagram of tornado alley's rough location (red)
Well, it's that time of year, Spring! While it is an absolutely amazing time to watch all of the new plant life bloom, it is also is a time when we have to watch the skies as well. As many of us North Texans know, North Texas can be a very dangerous place come spring time.. mainly because we're in a region know as 'Tornado Alley'. In case you might not know what Tornado Alley is, Tornado Alley is the region in the United States where most of the tornadoes reported annually occur. North Texas just happens to lie right inside of 'Tornado Alley'. Tornado Alley includes the states of Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois & Missouri. The main reason that 90% of tornadoes hit this region of the U.S because cold, dry air from Canada and the Rocky Mountains meets warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and hot, dry air from the Sonoran Desert, which causes atmospheric instability, heavy precipitation, and many intense thunderstorms.
Stock photo of extensive tornado damage to a home.
Well, the first thing to note is that tornadoes don't jest happen in the Spring. Tornadoes can occur any time of day, any day of the year so you need to make sure that you are prepared and stay prepared year round and be ready to act at a moments notice. The first preparedness action you should take for a tornado is that you have a safe place to go should a tornado occur. The safest place to be is an an underground shelter, basement or a safe room, however, if there is no safe room, underground shelter or basement available then you should go to a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building. "What if I live in a mobile home?" Well here's the thing about mobile homes, they are not safe at all from tornadoes. They can easily be picked up and thrown around like a toddler throwing his toy cars about. If you are in a mobile home during a tornado, abandon it and go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter immediately. "But, what if I'm caught outside during a tornado?" If you are caught outside in the event of a tornado, try to find a sturdy building, storm shelter or basement to seek shelter in. If you cannot quickly walk to a shelter, immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seatbelt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. You have the following options as a last resort; a. stay in your vehicle with the seatbelt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering your hands with a blanket if possible. or b. if you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car, and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.. your choice should be driven by your specific circumstances. Just remember, to always have a plan in place as severe weather and tornadoes can strike ANY TIME, ANY DAY OF THE YEAR.
Below I have attached links to some severe weather safety guides from The Red Cross and The National Weather Service. Click 'read more' to view the guide links.