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What is a Tornado?

A tornado is one of nature's most violent storms. It is a violently rotating column of air in contact with the ground. Tornadoes vary greatly in size, intensity and appearance. Tornado winds can range from less than 100 mph to in excess of 200 mph with the stronger tornadoes. The time tornadoes stay on the ground can also vary from a quick touch down that does little or no damage to one that stays on the ground for several hours and destroys nearly everything in its path. The rating that a tornado gets is generated from the EF scale(Enhanced Fujita) and is based on the damage that the tornado does. Click here for more on the EF scale

2019 Mississippi Tornado Stats

Official (Jan 1 to December 31), 2019

Number of Tornadoes

115*

Tornadoes by EF Scale - Fatalities & Injuries

 EF0 

 EF1 

 EF2 

 EF3 

 EF4 

 EF5 

 Fatalities 

 Injuries 

28 63** 19*** 5 0 0 3 TBD

Tornadoes by Month

 JAN 

 FEB 

 MAR 

 APR 

 MAY 

 JUN 

 JUL 

 AUG 

 SEP 

 OCT 

 NOV 

 DEC 

4 5 4 67**** 2 4 2 1 0 0 2 24*****

*New state record for tornadoes in a year. The previous record was 109 set in 2008. 

**This is the most EF1 tornadoes in a year. The previous record was 51 in 2008. 

***This is the most EF2 tornadoes in a year. The previous record was 18 in 1975 and 1980. 

****This ties for the most tornadoes in April with 2011.  

*****This is the most tornadoes in December. The previous record was 16 set in 1988 and 2008.  

 

 

Tornado Terms to Know

Tornado Watch

Tornado Warning

Tornado Emergency

Conditions are favorable in the atmosphere for the development of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. A tornado has been sighted by a spotter or rotation has been detected on radar. A violent tornado is expected based on radar indications of a tornadic debris signature, or a report is received of significant damage caused by a violent tornado.
Remain alert for signs of threatening weather and make preliminary plans for action. Take immediate action to protect yourself.  Do not wait for visual confirmation of a tornado as this may take time away from seeking proper shelter! Take immediate action to protect yourself and your life.

 

Tornado Drill on Wednesday, February 19th.

 

This will be conducted at 9:15 am, using the Routine Weekly Test through NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards. We strongly encourage local emergency managers, school officials, businesses, and home owners to participate in this drill. The best way to learn what to do when severe weather approaches is to practice when the weather is not threatening.

Click here for more information on how to prepare your organization, workplace, or church for a tornado.

 

Tornado Safety Guidelines

  • In homes or small buildings, go to the basement or to an interior room, interior hall, or to small rooms such as a closet or bathroom on the lowest level. Put on a helmet to protect your head from flying debris. If you do not have a helmet, use a blanket, couch cushion, pillow, mattress, or other item that will provide more protection than simply your hands.
  • In schools, nursing homes, hospitals and shopping centers, go to a pre-designated shelter area. Interior hallways on the lowest floor are usually best. Stay away from large windows or glassed areas. Also, stay away from large rooms like dining halls or gymnasiums because they usually have weakly supported roofs.
  • If you are in mobile homes or a vehicle, leave it and go to a substantial structure. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine, gully, or culvert with your hands shielding your head. However, this may not be a good option if heavy rain is falling.
  • Stay away from windows. Do not bother opening them. Opening windows will not protect the structure but will in fact lead to more damage if hit by a tornado. Also, you will just waste time and put yourself and possibly others at greater risk. Use those valuable few seconds to find safety.

Remember, tornadoes form very quickly and may occur with little or no advanced warning. You may have only a few seconds to find shelter. When a tornado threatens, your immediate action can save your life. Take the time during Severe Weather Preparedness Week to teach your children or your co-workers about tornadoes. Show them the best shelter areas in your home or business.

    

 

Notable Spring Tornado Events