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Atmosphere Academy: How do you know when a tornado is coming?

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With all of the cold weather we’ve experienced lately, you probably don’t have tornadoes on your mind, but severe weather is possible even during the winter. Meteorologist Jerry Jackson has more in the atmosphere academy.

This week, Cheyenne Marlowe, a student at Waccamaw Elementary School Student asks, how do you know when a tornado is coming?

There are many ingredients that fuel severe weather. For tornadoes specifically, wind shear can be a major player. Wind shear is a change in wind/speed and direction with height. When the wind shear is high, the rolling effect of the wind can be translated upward in an unstable air mass giving a pronounced rotation to developing thunderstorms. These mesocyclones are a major source of tornado production.

But how does the viewer know that the tornado threat is high? Naturally, we will always have the latest information on watches and warnings for you on WWAY. But what about those times you are away from the TV? Or how about at night while you sleep? That’s where the NOAA weather alert radio becomes essential. These radios sound an alarm whenever a watch or warning is issued. They are just as important as a smoke detector, and can often be purchased from the same stores. For more information, visit our website at WWAYTV3.com. The goal here is to keep you informed of severe weather, especially during those times of the year when you least expect it.

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With all of the cold weather we’ve experienced lately, you probably don’t have tornadoes on your mind, but severe weather is possible even during the winter. Meteorologist Jerry Jackson has more in the atmosphere academy.

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