Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that descend from thunderstorm clouds to come in contact with the ground.
They typically develop when the following atmospheric ingredients come together: - a supply of warm, humid air near the surface - a nearby low pressure disturbance to help lift the air and create thunderstorms - strong atmospheric winds increasing with height
Most tornadoes in Alabama occur during two main times of the year.
The Spring Severe Weather Season occurs in March, April, and May, and the Fall Severe Weather Season occurs in November and early December.
Tornadoes typically occur between noon and 8 pm. However, they have occurred in every hour of each day and night, so no time is immune from tornadoes.
Tornadoes have wind speeds that vary from as little as 50 mph to speeds in excess of 300 mph.
They move with the thunderstorms that produces them with forward motions varying from nearly stationary to 70 mph.
Most thunderstorms producing tornadoes travel from the southwest toward the northeast.
Remember, tornadoes form quickly! You may have only a few seconds to react and find shelter. When a tornado threatens, your immediate action can save your life! Know what to do and where to go!
In homes or small buildings:
In mobile homes or vehicles:
In schools, nursing homes, hospitals, factories, and shopping centers:
Information provided by NOAA