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Swede

Tornado Emergency Plans

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3 in the UK, 3 in Europe, 2 in Australia, 1 in Africa and around 48 in the US including 2 associated with a Hurricane. 

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When you chase, you stay out of the path of the tornado.  As I said earlier, you keep the tornado (or the wall cloud) moving from your left to your right.  This will place you on the south west side of the storm.  The supercells that spawn tornados move mainly from the southwest to the northeast. This location will also tend to keep you in the clear air outside of the storm and the rotation (about 98% of all tornadoes rotate counterclockwise) will most of the time clear the air on that side of the tornado allowing you to see it.

A very strong tornado will pull the rain curtain completely around itself, hiding it from you. You stay away from this type of storm.

You also have to keep watch for other cells and or rotation forming behind the storm, which can drop another funnel behind you.  Again, situational awareness - pay attention to what the storm is doing.

 

OFG is right, about the South west I said the south east earlier but thats because as a chaser I am looking for the clear slot. The south west is far safer position to be in. As a chaser stay away from the clear slot unless you have experience or with someone with experience because if the area gets wrapped in rain you will not see the tornado until its too late remember you don't want to rattle the bears cage. I have punched a couple of Bear Cages and they aint great places to be you are blind once inside. 

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...now if you REALLY wanted to have fun, we could discuss rear flanking downdrafts.

 

Watcher, sounds like you are being sensible and taking cover.

 

I remember the first tornado I ever saw.  We were at home, I was about 7-8, nasty storm was pounding down and my mom and dad rounded us all up and were herding us down into the basement.  As I was going down the steps, at the back door, I stopped, looked out the window and saw the tornado going down the hill behind our house, less than 300 yards away.  I stood there and stared until someone else going by grabbed me and drug me the rest of the way down into the basement.

 

I did see the wedge from the EF-5 tornado that went through here in 2008 from about 3-4 miles away, and that was way too close.  It was massive, completely wrapped in rain and the entire sky was showing rotation and smaller funnels behind it.  Looking at it from that far away and it still took up almost your entire field of vision.

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I was petrified of storms as a kid but when I was in Australia as a teenager I was more fascinated by the storms than terrified. I watched a storm cross over Rockhampton whilst I was on a ranch 500 miles away and kept watching it all afternoon as it got closer and closer when it finally reached us it dropped a tornado which picked up a 20 ton trailer and put it so gently on the roof of the barn. It was a very short lived tornado but its surgeons knife cut across the land just amazed me and the lightning lasted well into the night. I have rarely seen a thunder storm last so long and be so electric it just turned a switch in me and i have loved them ever since.

 

 

     

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Ah the wonders of a warm moist RFD! Yes an EF5 wedge tornado is a beast but not the best looking! I would say ropes, stovepipes or elephant trunks are far better looking. The elegance of a rope tornado dancing through the sky is somewhat hypnotic!  

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...now if you REALLY wanted to have fun, we could discuss rear flanking downdrafts.

 

I am not sure Taken would appreciate that, some how OFG ;)

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I am not sure Taken would appreciate that, some how OFG ;)

Maybe I could sucker her in...

 

"After the long transport, there was a preemie on a ventilator when all of a sudden, a rear flanking down draft developed...."

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Maybe it would be helpful for you to come up with a cute little symbol to use when you ask a question to let me know if you are actually asking a serious question related to the thread and want an answer or if you are just asking to mock others in a quest for attention.

you know ofg for a moderator that sounds more like a personal attack than a "debate"  takens made some valid points that might go against the "expert" storm chasers ideals but hell, if the red cross is changing there ideas about getting out of the car at the moment  when a tornado hits...there might be some reasoning behind it.  i dont know jack sh*t about rear flanking down drafts and all that other stuff about tornados but ive been in 3 myself and i tell you what. always follow your instincts. the survival instinct in humans is extreamly strong. if you have a choice (and a chance) to get out of the car and get to a low spot or a basement or a bombshelter then yeah, jump all over that sh*t. but if i turn a corner and BAM! there is a tornado in front of me and i have zero chance of making it to one of these common, handy, and right in front of me at the time of need places, yeah ill go for it. utherwise, ill pull the car into the nearest point of safty my instincts tell me and put my head down and pray for the best. after all. im sure thats what everyone that has ever been hit (not chased) by a tornado has done. just my two cents from a "non expert" on the subject.  razor...out

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Swede said,

 

Staying in a vehicle is questionable and we need more information on this.

 

I agree with this, but...I have in a quick, casual look at the internet, seen no creditable RESEARCH on what is the best survival tactic.  Agreed that the suggestions need to be simple, but I wonder how many of these recommendations are what an admittedly experienced person thinks is the right idea.  This probably is the reason for varying points of view.  Research to me would be:

 

"Of the 50,000 case studies we investigated: under similar circumstances; this percent was killed in cars, this percent was killed lying in a ditch, and this percent was killed in a hardened storm shelter of this construction." 

 

Also factored into this should be that the situation was survivable at all.  Your hardened tornado shelter is most probably not going to survive a locomotive dropped on it from 2000 feet in the air.  The research should avoid those types of case studies unless someone survived.

 

The wife and I follow the suggestions that are currently out there, but I sure would like to see some of the basic research that allowed them to make the recommendations.

 

Swede also said:

 

Steel culvert is good and a big concrete box culvert may be too big but better then nothing.

 

This is the type question that some good research would answer.  Is there a minimum size culvert that would be good in all situations or depending on the storm severity and proximity is there no safe minimum size?

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There seems to be so many variables as to what a person can/should do that it appears theres a lot of luck involved. What I see happening is a total lack of awareness and preparedness by the public and a lack of government plans and structures that is adding to the number of deaths. Even after this record tornado season Ill be willing to bet most families still have no plans.

 

My wife and I see the threats on the TV and start watching the sky and listening to the thunder to see if the thing is actually heading our way.We then get fully dressed and each of us has a flashlight and continue to monitor the weather on TV and watching the sky. There has been so many times that alarms go off and nothing happens and the weather reports can be wrong that complacency sets in.

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That is very similar to what I do, Swede, get dressed with shoes on (I don't like the idea of trying to navigate an area raked by a tornado in my bare feet - sorry Cody), make sure there is a working flashlight handy, cell phone in my pocket, double check the weather radio is turned on and then check the radar on the internet.  Watch the storm and the lightning to see if it is getting closer, etc.  Hail is usually a precursor to a tornado, to that is a clue to take shelter.

 

Also, in the last weather spotter training I took, they noted that many times, right before the tornado, the area may get lighter and actually show a spot of blue sky (during the day, of course) just ahead of the tornado.  Has to do with the dynamics of the actual vortex and clouds getting pushed up higher in the storm that just passed over ahead of the tornado.  That happens, get to shelter.

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The Red Cross information has not changed. It says...

 

• Stay in the car with the seat belt

on. Put your head down below

the windows, covering with your

hands and a blanket if possible.

• 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.

 

What it is saying if caught by a Tornado stay whilst in your car but if it is safe to do so get out and get somewhere lower than your car.

 

Swede I hear what you are saying but I cant see what else the Government can do. They give loads of information, they run one of the best WX forecasting services in the world, they have passed laws that the media must broadcast warnings and treats and they have funded sirens in many places around the country. It is not the government that are at fault. Its the public that is the problem. In my experience people just don't care, it costs them money and time and they think its a waste of of both. That only changes when they experience it for themselves.

 

People have to stop relying on the government to do everything for them and start taking responsibility for themselves.     

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If I was given advanced warning I would definitely find a better place than in a car for shelter.  But if I'm in the Squirrel Mobile when all hell breaks loose around me then I'm going to ride it out there.  A vehicle can withstand a lot more punishment than my body.  Just my opinion.  :thumbup:

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Springfield Massachusetts Tornado today. Lets just pretend it not there and drive our school bus full of kids directly at it. I know the location where the footage was shot is a safe one I would have expected a little more reaction on the street from people but instead they just ignore it, it wont happen to me thumb up ass attitude, is exactly the wrong attitude!

 

Springfield Ma Tornado 6/1/2011

 

Tornado Springfield MA 6/1/2011

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Nice find Holly, Thanks for posting. I thought he was in a helo when i first started watching, not a smart move!

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~ They had a really cool all night special on NATGEO last night  Eye witness video on the Tornado Swarm of 2011  :thumbup:  They had shows on all night about the Earthquakes, and the flooding, and the weird weather we're having across the Planet. I was glued to NATGEO all night long... I had the perfect Nerdacon Night of Television!  :thumbsup:

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That is the video I saw as well. Right at :40, you see the tornado eating something...that is actually a fully loaded semi that gets picked up and tossed around. 

 

I always wondered why when they first saw the tornado off to the side following them, why they didn't go through the median and go back the other way or just bust across the field to the left to get out of the path? According to the voice over, they were up to 85mph and could not out run it.

 

If they were out "chasing" and got into this situation, they were completely stupid, violating every rule and guideline given on that.[/font]

 

EXACTLY!  It's one of the major thing that is gone over and over in Skywarn classes.  Where it is safe to be.  If you want a better photo or video... Get a bigger lens or a better camera!. 

There is NO reason to be closer than needed.  You can't see anything up close!

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Hey Holly.  I told one of the guys from the Weather Service here the same thing ADI told you.  Next week he sent me a report of a Tornado near Aberdeen in Scotland and it was as big and as powerful as any I've seen.  There are some, there are even Chase groups in the UK.  Of course I didn't find out about that until I moved here!

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Adi, I hear you on the footage and the people just going about business as normal.  You see that all too often here. It's just the way some people are here I'm afraid.  They are too busy with their own worlds to bother about what's in their face.  You see people driving past as a Tornado is nearby, like it isn't even there!

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