Why Nighttime Tornadoes are More Deadly
Did you know that nocturnal tornadoes are more than twice as likely to be deadly?
Spring time in East Texas is known to have significant severe weather. Residents in Alto are the most recent victims of dangerous winds in the form of a tornado.
What could be worse? Tornadoes that break out at nighttime.
According to Weather.com, "examining roughly 48,000 tornadoes in the U.S. from 1950 to 2005, a 2008 study led by Walker Ashley from Northern Illinois University found roughly one in every 20 overnight tornadoes were killers, compared to roughly one in every 50 daytime deadly tornadoes."
Obviously visibility is a factor. Tornadoes are hard to see at night, with lightening often being the only light to illuminate the funnel cloud. Sleep is also a factor. Many people go to sleep during a thunderstorm unaware that a tornado has been spotted.
"Another problem is that people are often asleep and caught unaware," said The Weather Channel severe weather expert Dr. Greg Forbes. Location is a factor as well.
"People are usually at home, often in structures that are not as sturdy as their place of work. Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable," said Forbes.
How can you prepare yourself ahead of time? Utilize technology. Your smartphone could save your life. Weather.com says this:
Most newer smartphones are capable of receiving wireless emergency alerts from your local NWS office. These include tornado warnings. Make sure your smartphone is charged sufficiently and left on overnight, and a special tone and vibration will occur twice when a tornado warning is issued. Note, however, this will not sound for a tornado watch or severe thunderstorm warning.