While many love spring storms for the beautiful flowers and fresh air they bring, plenty of dangers can also come with them. For some parts of the United States, this time of year is also tornado season—and the border between North Carolina and South Carolina is one such region. Knowing the signs of an impending tornado strike is vital to staying safe in your home. These are some top tornado warning signs to know and look out for as we push through the remainder of spring.
Dark Gray or Greenish Sky
While many people believe tornados to be unpredictable, an important thing to recognize is that certain conditions must be in place for them to form. One identifiable sign that these conditions are present is a darker gray or greenish-colored sky. This effect happens when particularly severe storms are on the horizon and the clouds are fully saturated with rainwater. Heavy clouds are thick enough to move into a funnel formation, so while there might not be a current tornado, weather professionals would still classify this as a warning sign.
Sudden Stillness in the Air
A very sudden stillness in the air after it’s been windy is another sign that there may be a tornado nearby. Tornado formations pull any warm and moist air into its storm system. When this happens, it leaves the area in a temporary low-pressure vacuum. This is what creates the feeling of calm before a severe storm, so if you feel as though the air went completely still at a moment’s notice, it could be time to seek shelter.
Flying Debris in the Distance
Another tornado warning sign to look out for in the coming months is the sight of flying debris. It could be paper and trash or rocks and lawn furniture, but if there’s a tornado near, you’re going to see items blowing around. Half of the danger of a tornado is the risk of getting hit by flying debris in its path. As such, you need a place to retreat to, like a specialized storm shelter, where you and your family will be safe.
If you see cone-shaped clouds twisting together in the sky, it’s officially time to run for cover. Funnel clouds are the mixture of cold and warm air that spin together and eventually touch down as a tornado. So if you can see this happening, evacuate the area or find a secure place to take refuge.