10 Things Everyone Should Know About Tornadoes

At Southern Safe Rooms in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we specialize in protecting your family from dangerous storms and tornadoes. Most Oklahomans have experienced a tornado or tornadic storm on some level, but how much do you really know about these killer storms? The more you know, the better prepared you will be, so here are 10 things everyone should know about tornadoes.

1. Tornadoes can occur at any time

Tornadoes are more likely to occur between 3pm and 9pm, so those are the hours we are generally most aware. However, they can occur at any time, so you should have a system set up to alert you whenever warnings are issued.

2. Tornadoes can last over an hour

Funnel clouds usually have a lifespan of less than 10 minutes, so tornadoes often only last a few seconds to a few minutes. However, on occasion they can last for over an hour, so please take all warnings seriously, even if they are some distance away.

3. Tornadoes can backtrack

As you may know, severe and tornadic storms usually travel from southwest to northeast. However, a tornado can move in any direction and may even backtrack if it hits winds from the eye of a thunderstorm, so don’t let your guard down once it has “passed.”

4. Tornadoes can be almost transparent

Until a tornado picks up enough dust and debris, or until a cloud forms inside the funnel, a tornado may be very difficult to spot with the naked eye. So once again, heed all warnings, even if things look ok.

5. Tornadoes can produce winds of up to 300mph

A tornado is a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. The whirling winds inside tornadoes have been measured at nearly 300 miles per hour.

6. Pets need to be protected from tornadoes

Though many of us have a severe weather plan in place for our families, pets are often left to fend for themselves. Make sure you include your pets and animals in your disaster plans.

7. Any thunderstorm can produce a tornado

All thunderstorms occur when a cold front meets a warm front. Since this is the basic nature of tornadic rotation, if conditions are right and rotation exists, any of these storms can become severe enough to produce a tornado.

8. Rotation breeds tornadoes

When thunderstorms begin to rotate and become well-defined, they are primed to produce tornadoes. These rotating storms also may include hail, severe winds, lightning, and flash floods.

9. Oklahoma is Tornado Alley

We are in the prime location for tornadoes because often, the dry, polar air from Canada meets the warm, moist, tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico right in our back yard! That combination produces lots of storms, and often those storms rotate, and way more often than we like, they produce tornadoes!

10.Tornadoes are deadly

Damage paths of tornadoes can exceed 50 miles in length and a mile in width. We in Oklahoma are all too familiar with the devastation they can bring in terms of loss of life and property. Please take all necessary precautions!


The question is not whether to protect your family from tornadoes, but how. At Southern Safe Rooms, we build and install the safest above-ground safe rooms available to shelter you and your family from deadly tornadoes. No, you can’t stop tornadoes from coming, but with Southern Safe Rooms, you can be ready when they do! Call us today at 918-584-3371 and schedule your free estimate and find out how to keep your family safe!


Photo by SHTTEFAN on Unsplash

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