April marks the beginning of tornado season. Are serious tornadoes predicted for 2012? A look back at 2011 severe weather trends and weather experts’ opinions on what’s coming in 2012 will help you stay ahead of the storms.
Last year’s storms were unrelenting. In fact, tornadoes in 2011 were the worst in 50 years. Tornadoes form when cold fronts and warm air swirl together in an upward-rotating mix of wind. 2011’s higher-than-average highs and extra water vapors in the sky spelled disaster, especially across the South and Midwest.
Sadly, Missouri and Alabama were hit especially hard. Many Americans, the Red Cross, and Etón Corporation donated clothes, food, and funds to those struck by 2011’s dangerous tornadoes.
2012 Tornado Predictions
Predicting tornadoes is tricky. In fact, it was illegal to forecast a tornado before the 1950s because of the risk of unnecessarily causing people to panic. Nowadays, we’re thankful for the technological advances in Doppler radar and satellite, which help us predict tornadoes more accurately.
Some experts are saying that more tornadoes than normal could be looming in 2012, thanks in part to hotter Gulf temperatures. Especially after the 2011 tornado season, it makes sense to be cautious.
Preparing for Tornado Season 2012
Protect yourself from tornadoes in a few simple steps:
- Know the difference between tornado watches vs. warnings. Make sure everyone else in your household knows, too.
- Recognize the warning signs. Warning signs of a tornado include hail or heavy rain followed by a sudden calm, a greenish-black hue in the sky, and fast-moving clouds.
- Stay in-the-know. Watch the news or listen to the radio so you know if a tornado is coming.
- Plan ahead for where you’ll protect yourself from the storm, whether that’s your basement, a room with no windows, or a neighbor’s place.
- Prepare a tornado emergency kit.
Even weather forecasters can’t always know when a tornado is coming, but you can proactively take precautions against severe weather.
For the additional safety of being able to use your cell phone during a tornado, check out Etón’s new FRX3 safety radios released this April—just in time for the 2012 tornado season. No matter where you are, you can hand-crank the radio and charge your mobile phone (even without power).
Do you live in tornado alley? Are you taking precautions against this year’s possible tornadoes? Share your tornado tips with us, and stay safe.