A tornado is one of nature’s most damaging storms with its spinning wind column. So can tornadoes happen without any wind? How can you stay protected during a tornado? This article is for you if you are pondering answers to these mind-boggling questions.
No, tornadoes can’t happen without wind. This is because winds are a major factor that results in the formation of a tornado. It takes a special combination of strong winds at various altitudes that leads to the creation of tornadoes.
Read this blog to find out more about tornadoes and their formation.
Can Tornadoes Occur In The Absence Of Wind?
Since the main destruction caused by a tornado is because of the strong winds, what if a tornado occurs in the absence of winds? That would eliminate the damages, but tornadoes just aren’t possible without the wind.
Tornadoes are often mistaken to be unable to form when the skies are clear, but this is far from true. However, the wind can die down and become still shortly before one hits. Tornadoes tend to form in tornado-friendly thunderstorms with a particular combination of winds that cause air to rise and begin spinning.
People think tornadoes can occur without wind because news stories often mistakenly report a lull before one hits. This calm before the storm can be misleading. However, a tornado usually happens near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm and can occur even with clear sunny skies ahead.
How Do Tornadoes Form?
Tornadoes require an intricate combination of winds to create when a thunderstorm rises and is consequently shifted from one direction to another from different wind speeds and guidance.
It takes a unique mix of powerful winds at varying heights for the tornado’s journey to begin. Luckily, these chaotic spins of air don’t always lead to tornadoes; it requires a particular set of conditions for one to form.
The air around it must be in chaos for a tornado to get off the ground and spin. A thunderstorm provides the perfect conditions for spinning air near the bottom, where warm gusts rise and more incredible blows sink.
This creates a cyclone-like force causing the air near the ground to start rotating faster. For instance, when our arms are drawn in as we spin, they turn more quickly due to an effect known as the conservation of angular momentum. Once these horizontal wafts pick up vertical speed and direction, tornado formation is imminent.
Although most tornado activity is related to more severe, rotating thunderstorms known as supercell thunderstorms, not all these storms produce tornado conditions. For tornado formation to occur, the air has to twist near the ground much faster.
Tornado Safety Tips
Clear weather or no clear weather, you must stay alert and safe from a tornado. Otherwise, you will be blown away by the wind. While tornadoes can be deadly, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones before, during, and after disaster strikes. Follow these four safety tips to protect yourself against a tornado:
- Watch Out For Alerts!
When tornado season strikes, you want to ensure you are well-prepared for an unpredictable and dangerous situation. Knowing the difference between tornado watches and tornado warnings is critical.
Consider investing in NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio for the safest tornado safety precautions. Arm yourself with accurate updates from your local NWS (National Weather Service) office or set up outdoor sirens as part of your preparedness plan. All these things will help ensure you stay safe when a tornado watch or warning is issued in your area.
Check out some of these tornado warning signs and safety precautions:
Tornado Warnings: Signs to look out for in severe weather
- Discover Safe Places For Shelter
The underground and first floors are two key places to take shelter for tornado safety. Basement or cellar locations protect the most from a tornado’s strong winds. So if you have the option, move down those stairs.
If you’re stuck on the first floor of a home, retreat to an interior room. A bathroom or closet with no windows would do. Block out as much tornado-force blasting wind as possible.
When tornado warnings hit, things can get a bit more complicated, especially when no permanent structure exists. The worst place to be in these conditions is a mobile home. Weather Advisory recommends seeking the nearest sturdy building if tornado warnings come through while you’re still in your trailer.
Otherwise, you should lie in a ditch and cover your head with your arms to protect yourself from debris flying around. Remember, staying inside your car is not a safe option either. Experts emphasize that cars are not a safe haven. They advise getting out of the vehicle as soon as possible and finding refuge in the closest strongest structure available.
- Self Protection
When tornado warnings are in effect, the best advice is to cover your head. Keep a helmet close by for protection. If you don’t have time for that, at least shield yourself with your arms. Pack a pocket-sized airhorn or whistle in your storm shelter to make yourself more noticeable to first responders.
Stocking up on some essential first-aid materials is also recommended. Moreover, wear shoes, as hazardous debris can and will be everywhere after a tornado.
Finally, keep a distance from dangerous materials, such as downed or broken gas lines. These can put your safety in jeopardy even further.
Now we know that tornadoes cannot occur without wind since they are the basis of their formation. However, protecting yourself is necessary. So, stay safe!