Spring has sprung, which brings with it severe weather season and the occasional tornado outbreak. The one that’s been happening over the past few days has already generated over 100 confirmed tornadoes.
Personally, I base all my knowledge of tornadoes and storm chasing off of the 1996 smash-hit movie Twister with Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton.
(Honestly, the cow flying in front of them is pretty much all I remember, because I was 12 when it came out.)
Tornadoes are classified by wind speed using the Enhanced Fujita scale.
The tornado in the video below happened in 2016 near Wray, Colorado. According to the National Weather Service, this particular tornado was only an EF2. I’m not here to call the great people at the NWS liars, but hot dang this thing was huge.
The NWS said that this stovepipe tornado (a tornado that is more or less completely cylindrical) had peak winds of 130 miles per hour (209 kilometers per hour), was on the ground for over 8 miles (12.8 kilometers), and at its widest point had a diameter or 440 yards (402 meters).
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Just as a disclaimer, and because if I don’t say it, someone will do it – if you have severe weather, or especially a tornado nearby, don’t go outside. Don’t try filming it and don’t try to take a selfie with it. Just don’t. You don’t know if the tornado is going to make a quick turn towards you or not. Get someplace safe (the centermost point of the first floor your dwelling) and keep your butthole tight until the whole thing is over.
Back in January, I listened to an episode of the 1A radio show where they discussed preparedness for disasters (fun tidbit: you listen to the episode, you’ll hear them read my question on air regarding Marsquakes at 31:37). It made me realize that my family wasn’t well prepared for a disaster, so we bought this disaster kit on Amazon for my wife and two kids, as well as this emergency radio.
For more on what your family can do to prepare for a disaster, FEMA has a checklist at Ready.gov.