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Tornado Watch vs. Tornado Warning...Be prepared!

Updated on September 21, 2016
tlpoague profile image

TLPoague is a writer, crafter, and traveler. Her online activity is at a minimum since retiring from online writing to fulfill other dreams

Watch for swirling tails

Watch for clouds that are swirling and forming little tails. These are the beginning of tornadoes.
Watch for clouds that are swirling and forming little tails. These are the beginning of tornadoes. | Source

Standing outside looking for possible tornadoes. The community was under tornado watch.

The difference between a tornado watch or tornado warning.

A tornado watch is to let the community know that there could possibly be a tornado in a sever thunderstorm.

A tornado warning is to let the community know that a tornado was seen on the ground, or activity of a tornado is forming.

If you are in the area of a tornado warning, it is best to seek a storm cellar or basement, and wait out the storm.

Be prepared to seek shelter if you hear the words "Tornado Warning".

The hot topic of the season is tornadoes and flooding. If you are living in a state that sees tornadoes often, it isn't unusual to see the old-timers sitting on the front porch in their chairs watching the clouds. Occasionally if asked, they will explain what it is that they are looking for...big, fat, fluffy, blackish-green clouds that are crashing together. I am one of those people that stare up into the sky thinking any dark, ominous cloud is hovering with a tornado ready to drop. What can I say?...I am paranoid!

It took me about a year of living here to understand the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. (I have to say that I still get mixed up with the terms.) While visiting my grandmother as a child, I didn't hear the words “tornado warning” often. It was normally a watch to let the community know of a possible tornado. It wasn't until I watched the movie Twister, that I began to really watch the storms.

It just so happened that the summer the movie Twister came out, my family decided to take a trip to Kansas for an overdue family reunion. For some excitement, my brothers, sisters, and I wanted to see Twister before taking the trip. Off we went to the drive-in with friends and family for a thrilling movie. All through the movie, my children were glued to the screen. This was equivalent to watching a horror film, in their eyes. I watched impressed, while pointing out the different places in the movie that I had visited when I was a child. To this day, that movie left an impact on my children, and nephew.

It was early in the morning when our little caravan of nine people stuffed into a suburban left for my grandmother's. There were three children under the age of six, two teenagers, and four adults, stuffed like a can of sardines. The children laughed, giggled, and slept the first few hours, while the teenagers argued over seating arrangements. Everything when pretty smooth till we were a few miles outside of North Platte, Nebraska. Across the radio station came the words, “We interrupt your program to let our listeners in the area know of a tornado warning is in effect until six tonight.”


A markerNorth Platte Nebraska -
North Platte, NE 69101, USA
get directions

The surrounding areas of North Platte are a common area where tornadoes are spotted.

Three little faces plastered themselves to the windows of the suburban. One pointed out the nasty notorious blackish-green clouds. (I will always associate them with tornadoes.) I made it a point to double check seat belts, close up chip bags, candy containers and pop the lids back on any water bottles that needed it. Meanwhile, one of my brothers decided to hackle the kids by convincing them the thunderstorms were going to drop a tornado on them.

The sky grew blacker, hail dropped the size of golf balls, and lightening struck so close the thunder snapped with it. My children thought it was the greatest thing to see since Santa. North Platte flashed by in a bolt of lightening before we realized it was even close. A semi passed us like it was broad daylight, then cut in front of us to slam on its brakes. Over the radio came the announcement a tornado was spotted ripping across a farmer's field headed for us. Not only were the children plastered to the windows now, us adults were too.

My dad spotted it first.

Possible Tornado Clouds

This is a picture taken of a possible cloud that could develop into a tornado, as it collides into another cloud.
This is a picture taken of a possible cloud that could develop into a tornado, as it collides into another cloud. | Source

It was behind us, zig zagging a path to the highway.

The children looked like owls, stretching their necks in the seat belts, hollering because one or the other, couldn't see it properly. A bolt of lightening lit up the skyline the same time thunder clashed, causing the kids to scream. (This lit up the tornado enough for everyone to properly see that it was closer than comfort.)

My dad, whom was driving, swerved a little, while speeding up. The rest of us adults nearly had a heart attack, then started laughing, as the tornado evaporated into the sky. Everyone was laughing that is, except my ex-sister-in-law.

None of us had realized that she was terrified of storms. To this day, my brother (her husband at the time) bores physical scars of her clinging to his arms terrified. It didn't faze him any, he still loves to storm chase and tease about possible tornadoes.

We made it to my grandmother's safely, with the three young children, anxious to be the first to tell her about their tornado they saw.

An explaination of how a tornado developes.

Tornadoes can happen anywhere.

Tornadoes happen when cool air collides with warm air. Most common are days when it is hot, then a spring or summer storm rolls in bringing cooler air.

It doesn't matter the area one lives in, if the conditions are right, a tornado will happen.

In the past, certain states were labeled as being in "Tornado Alley". Now it has stretched to include states surrounding those states. It was uncommon for Montana, Wyoming, or Colorado to see a tornado, but in a small town in Wyoming in 2005; an F2 tornado wiped out half the town. In 2007, Greensburg Kansas was obviated by an F5 tornado.

There has been an increase in tornado activity. Some claim it is the wrath of God, while others claim it is global warming. Whatever one believes is the cause, it is best to arm yourself with knowledge and expect the unexpected.

Tornadoes are dangerous...Be prepared!

As thrilling as it can be to stand outside watching a tornado form, remember they are dangerous! Check out the link to a video taken on July 20,2011. It shows one of 8 tornadoes that day that hit in an area less than a 15 miles around. This tornado in the video took out a farmhouse three miles from my sister's house. It also distroyed outbuildings and a farmer's collection of combines.


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  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 4 years ago from USA

    Thanks for stopping by to share your story. I am sorry it has taken me a coon's age to reply back. I am surprised to see how many states have been affected by tornados in the last few years. Many of them weren't properly informed as to what the signs were or what to do in the event that one was traveling through their area. I am grateful that this hub could be of some help. Hopefully it will help many others. Thanks again!

  • profile image

    ElleBee 5 years ago

    This is a really great hub! I am from Massachusetts, and I remember how scared I was when I first moved to NE. I would barely leave my apt building when there was a tornado watch! Then I moved back to MA and wham, got that tornado I never had in NE! Living in MA we don't really learn much about tornados, or what the warning signs look like. That made the whole experience last summer even scarier, especially because for many of us, the memories of early June were brought back with every menacing cloud or thunderstorm of the summer (and 2011 brought a lot of bad storms to WMass). I am happy I will be able to approach summer 2012, a bit better informed.

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 5 years ago from USA

    Thank you MizBejabbers, I have lost count how many times I have had my pants scared off me by severe storms. I don't think I could ever be a storm chaser. The panic alone would give me a heart attack. I don't mind storm watching as long as I have time to take cover before it hits. Thanks again for stopping by!

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 5 years ago

    This is a great hub! This is good information and a very interesting up-close and personal story from a person not entirely familiar with tornadoes. I live in tornado alley and frequently "had the pants scared off me" during severe storms and tornadoes as a child. I took a course in storm spotting when I was an active ham radio operator and was a volunteer storm spotter for several years. Storm spotting is not to be confused with storm chasing. We now live on top of a hill overlooking the Arkansas River, which seems to be a natural path for tornadoes. We occasionally stand at our back door and watch them pass overhead following the river. We are cautious, though, and always have a path laid out to quickly reach our designated storm room, the windowless wash room built into the side of the hill.

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks you Catdavid,

    It is an honor to have you stop by and give an account of your experience with the tornado in the video. Sorry it took me so long to respond back. I have a sister that lives three miles east of you. She was in her garden and had no idea the tornado was coming. It is hard to say what would have happened if she hadn't of answered the phone and found out it was coming. She said they (Her and her three sons) could hear it through the walls of their storm cellar. They were one of the fortunate ones. Later on she went by your place and seen the damage. She said it really effected her and her family. She couldn't believe the amount of damage done. It is a blessing and answered prayer that your family survived. (This will be a story your kids will pass on to future generations.)

    I am thrilled that you found my hub, and shared your experience with this community. I hope this will help others in the future. Thanks again for commenting!

  • profile image

    catdavid 6 years ago

    thanks so much for doing this hub i just wanted to comment on the video name is Catrina David and i was living in the house 3 miles east of Almena Ks. (Norton county) on the north side of the road that was completely leveled by this tornado. I had warning from my husband about 45 minutes before the tornado hit us but there were so many all over that the best thing i could do for my kids was take them to our basement. we sat there with nothing going on for like forever and then the hail started and we prayed and as we said amen our ears popped and the tornado started to take our house apart. we were moved from the northeastern corner to the southeastern corner of the basement. it was myself and my four kids 9,8,5, and 2 years old along with our family dog. as you said it is totally different seeing the destruction first hand then seeing it on video or driving through afterwards. i have never been around tornadoes before and it is something that will live with me and my kids for the rest of our lives! thank you again for posting this to help others know when to take cover!

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Frogyfish,

    Let me tell ya, that was one hair tingling trip. The kids to this day still talk about it. Now that they know what to look for, they have become there own tornado spotters. Thanks again for leaving a comment.

  • frogyfish profile image

    frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

    Preparedness, responsibility and humor. Great combination, especially here, because everything turned out fine for you. Fun story!

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Mico Sam- In some cases a tornado is upon you before you have a chance to leave town. In the case of the tornadoes by Long Island, those people barely had a chance to get into their basements and storm shelters before it hit. Even if they wanted to leave, there were 8 tornadoes scattered in every direction around them. It would be nice if these were like a hurricane and people could prepare for them better. Thanks again for your comment.

    Thanks Htodd-I am glad you enjoyed it.

  • htodd profile image

    htodd 6 years ago from United States

    Thanks for the great post..Nice

  • Mico Sam profile image

    Mico Sam 6 years ago from Irvine, CA

    Its best to leave town in case the tornado causes more destruction as expected.

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks shauneagle,

    I was just talking to my husband about that. We were talking about how there are many surrounding states that are starting to be in the path of tornado alley with the changing of the jet stream. Hopefully those around you will be prepared by the time the tornado become an every season thing. People use to laugh at my dad because every time we moved he would build a storm shelter. They stopped laughing when a tornado passed by them. You never know where or when one might hit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. It is important to be aware.

  • shauneagle profile image

    shauneagle 6 years ago from Westerville, OH

    Responding to CloudExplorer's comment about unpredictability, one thing that people don't know about is the fact that the jet stream is slowly moving north due to average global rising temperatures. I live in Ohio which isn't "officially" in Tornado Alley but in 50 years, we will be in it and have more frequent tornados.

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Cloud,

    Tuck in tight with that hurricane coming. The winds from one of them is simular to a tornado. You can pick the size of your YouTube video once you save it. Just go back in the edit mode to pick which size you want. It just like sizing your pictures. I try to use multiple text capsules so I can break it up with pictures, text, or videos. I am glad you liked the set up. Thanks! Good luck with the upcoming weather. Take lots of videos and write about! I would love to read it.

  • CloudExplorer profile image

    Mike Pugh 6 years ago from New York City

    This is a nice positioned hub, not sure how you got the Youtube videos so small, I guess I'll try to do the same with mine eventually. i especially like the descriptive text boxes under your videos & alongside the main text, that's a really cool way to divide up the space on a hub. Wow.

    It's very informative as well, I think I experienced a tornado landing in New York City back in August 1st of this year, The weather these days is far to unpredictable. I just hope things die down a bit, we just got an earthquake on monday & preparing for hurricane Irene to hit the East Coast region here. Thanks for such a cool hub, keep up the awesome work.

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Arock! It is amazing how many people either don't know the warnings, or mistake the warning and are soon in trouble. When a tornado when thru my home town, my dad stood there telling people to take cover, but it took them a bit to realize he was serious. By the time they took cover, it was nearly too late. I am glad to hear you are ok.

    Thanks Shauneagle,

    I have been one of those that have stood outside to admire the storm, only to realize how close I was to making a serious mistake by not being more careful. I can't count how many times we have stood outside watching swirling clouds above us hang down a bit then go back up and drop a little again. These can happen so fast. Thanks again!

    Thanks Michael,

    This seems to be the year that the tornadoes feel like they are coming in clusters and more powerful. It is always best to be ready. Thanks for the vote!

  • MichaelWriter profile image

    MichaelWriter 6 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

    Great Hub! Good information for those that move to areas with frequent tornadoes. Voted it up and useful!

  • shauneagle profile image

    shauneagle 6 years ago from Westerville, OH

    Fantastic hub, it is surprising how many people I talk to that do not know the difference between a watch and a warning.

    People just do not realize how fast tornados can be. Although a tornado usually travels between 10-20 mph, some have been reported to move as fast as 60 mph! So when you think you see one in a wooded area, it can be on you really quickly.

    The key for spotting a tornado is to not only look for supercells (1 of 4 tornados are made in one of these), but to look for rotating clouds, lowered wall clouds, and tail clouds.

    I enjoy watching storms but I am afraid that I would want to see it and then the tornado changes direction at me at 50+ mph. I would then be in serious trouble.

    Wrapping up, great hub, useful information, and a special thanks to the movie Twister which gave us the interest in storms and new precautionary measures.

  • ArockDaNinja profile image

    ArockDaNinja 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    I live in Springfield, MA. We got a possible tornado warning for June 1st... we laughed it off because we NEVER get tornados here... three tornados later, one being almost an F4. I watched it rip through downtown in person. Crazy. I take them all very seriously now.

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Commanderx,

  • commanderx profile image

    commanderx 6 years ago

    really great hub..voted up !!

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Blairtracy,

    I always felt better when my husband stands outside to reassure me which clouds could be a tornado. Once he was gone when a neighbor came by to ask about some questionable clouds. I took one look and told her to head for her basement. As soon as I said that, the sirens went off. I was grateful my hubby took the time to show me what to look for. It does feel great to know when to freak out and when not too. Thanks again for your comment.

  • blairtracy profile image

    blairtracy 6 years ago from Canada

    Tornado's are one of my biggest fears. As I live out in the middle of nowhere with no basement. The more I learn about them the better I feel about them. As I have a better idea of when I should be freaking out. Haha

    Thanks for your information.

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks KiloJKilo,

    I have heard of a few going through Colorado. That is like Wyoming. They were rare by not unheard of. Now they seem to be more frequent.

  • KiloJKilo profile image

    KiloJKilo 6 years ago from Menomonie, WI

    It's not really accurate to say a tornado is uncommon in Colorado. Quite the contrary actually. Weld county is known for its tornadic activity. Growing up in the state I can tell you we had a fair share. Not as many as further east, but plenty.

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA


    @davenmidtown-Thank you, where I use to live tornadoes were rare. Then a few years ago one went threw the small town and distroyed the trailer park killing two. Be sure to prepare yourself. You never no when one could hit.

  • davenmidtown profile image

    David Stillwell 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

    What a great hub and congrats on hub of the day. I love the way you write. We are having tornado warnings and an actual torndo here this year in california.... It would be devestating if a big one hit. We are not prepared for that kind of weather.

  • registerdomains profile image

    registerdomains 6 years ago from India

    Lovely. Nice topic.

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks pedrn,

    The wind and rain have been horrible here too. I love the white puffy clouds, but most of the time I wonder if they will turn nasty and become a tornado. Soon I will be complaining about the blizzards...LOL! Thanks again!

  • pedrn44 profile image

    Sandi 6 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

    Congrats on Hub Of The Day! We have had the most horrible summer weather...bad winds, power outages, horrific rains. Whereas we don't get tornados around here I am always watchful and terrified one will hit. Thanks for the info.

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments.

    @prektjr.dc-We had a lady from our town that died in the Joplin tornado, and a few other families that traveled from there to here to work. I couldn't believe the devastation that was left. It was a sad day indeed.

    @DzyMsLizzy-I am glad to hear your mother-in-law is ok. It is strange how tornadoes are occuring in places that have never seen them before.

    @JSMatthew-Thank you, I tried to write some of my informative hubs based on my experiences. I like to make it feel more real and understandable to everyone. I hope this hub helps others to better understand the difference.

    @daskittlez-I couldn't believe how many tornadoes hit Missouri this year. It was unreal!

    @thoughtfulgirl-Does PA get many tornadoes? I wasn't sure if they were in the main path or not. Thanks!

    @breathing-Honestly I couldn't tell you, but I think if the conditions were right, it is possible. It is always best to be safe, especially if you have never seen or been around one before and it happens.

    @Naomi-I agree, the car is not a great place to be in one. One of my scariest experiences was in a car last summer. I will never forget that day. Thanks!

  • Naomi's Banner profile image

    Naomi's Banner 6 years ago from United States

    Great Hub! Have experienced a tornado one too many times in the car on the road. IT is not a great place to be in a tornado. There is not many places that are safe in a tornado. Good information to have and great job.

  • breathing profile image

    Sajib 6 years ago from Bangladesh

    I am living in place where Tornado will hardly come. It did not happen here in my life. Then, am I safe here?

  • thoughtfulgirl2 profile image

    thoughtfulgirl2 6 years ago from East Coast

    I don't know what's going on with the weather lately, but we've been having crazy storms in eastern PA. Your hub was really good, and informative:)

  • daskittlez69 profile image

    daskittlez69 6 years ago from midwest

    I live in Missouri and the tornadoes this year were insane. Thanks for the hub. Here is your up and useful. And congratulations on being selected for the Hub of the Day!

  • J.S.Matthew profile image

    JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    Congratulations on being selected for the Hub of the Day!

    I like how you can educate people in the form of a narrative based on a personal experience! What a scary story! This was informative and a great read! This year we had a few devastating tornadoes in MA and I was so surprised! I even wrote a Hub about it! I never knew we had tornadoes where I live and it goes to show that this can happen anywhere if conditions are right! I hope that people will read this so that they can be educated on the differences in Storm Warnings and Watches. Awesome job! Voting up and sharing!


  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Congratulations of getting a "Hub of the Day" award!

    Great information, and very important things to know. We live in California, so tornadoes are a very, very rare occurrence, but a couple did happen this year (2011), fortunately in open areas away from homes, and there were some watches too close for comfort to where my mother-in-law lives. Luckily, nothing came of it.

  • prektjr.dc profile image

    Debbie Carey 6 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

    I live near Joplin MO, so understand the power of a tornado! The EF5 that hit here on May 22, 2011 has left scars on the landscape and the hearts of many. We are recovering slowly and strongly, but no one takes the watches or warnings for granted any longer. Thanks for a good hub with lots of good information! Voted up, useful and interesting!

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Lasker!

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks for commenting Marellen and Manthy,

    @Marellen- Thank you for the congrats. It seems that places that normally do not see tornado activity are starting to see some. Where I grew up, it was unheard of to see a tornado. A few years ago, one took out the trailer park in my hometown. It makes one wonder what is in store for the future.

    @Manthy-It is amazing the impact a tornado has when you see one first hand verses watching a video of it. You know it does massive damage, but the reality of it doesn't hit until it happens to you. I have been very fortunate that I haven't experienced a tornado to that degree. Most of mine had been close calls, but no destruction. Thanks again for commenting.

  • lasker profile image

    lasker 6 years ago from Dhaka

    Excellent information, peak to peak details.

  • manthy profile image

    Mark 6 years ago from Alabama,USA

    Very nice - I had s EF5 tornado hit 2 miles from my home according to The Weather Channel it was the 3rd worse tornado of all time, it stayed on the ground for over 3 hrs and destroyed several towns and killed many people, it has given me a new respect for tornado watch,warnings.

    I have seen first hand what a twister can do.

  • profile image

    marellen 6 years ago

    I live in California and have earthquakes but rarely a tornado but in the last few years there have been some sightings an one actually touched down causing minor damage. It can be scary for sure. Congrats on being hub of the day....

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    @Sunshine-Thank you for sharing this with your friends and the congrats. I have never been in a hurricane, but sometimes with the tornado like wind and rain, one would think they are in one. I have seen the rain come down in swirls which tells you that a tornado could possibly be close by.

    @BobbiRant-Thanks for your comment. I have to agree that when people are exposed to these things, they become desensitized to them. Some of the natives here would sit out on their front porch on watch one go by a half a mile away. Not me...I'd be in the basement.

    @Alvinalex- Thanks!

    @Happy-Thanks!! I was shocked to log in this morning and see someone commenting about getting the accolade. In disbelief, I had to go see for myself. (It didn't occure to me to look at the top of the hub...LOL!) I was so happy I called my family. Thanks again!

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Congrats on the Hub of the Day accolade. I loved this hub when I first read it, and since it's about an important topic it's good that it's receiving notice.

  • alvinalex profile image

    alvinalex 6 years ago

    Great Hub!

  • BobbiRant profile image

    BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

    Well, as a transplant from NY (where we hardly ever experience tornadoes) to Indiana, whenever we had a tornado warning,my coworkers, who were raised in Indiana, would hang by the big windows and even go outside to look up at the sky while sirens were going off. I hung in the center of the building. I think I had way more respect for tornadoes than my native Hoosier counterparts did. I figured They,of all people,would know better. Same thing happened when I worked in Illinois.I suppose they have become desensitized to it all. Good hub.

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 6 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Great hub! I'm sharing this with friends! I live in Florida and we get hurricances with plenty of warnings unlike tornadoes. Congrats on being Hub OF The Day!

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Moonlake,

    I bet you have seen many in your time coming from the south. I can imagine your children will have some stories to tell of running across the pasture. As I sit here writing these thank you's, I think of how bad the tornadoes seem to be this year. It is a unique experience to watch one travel across the lake. Thanks for your comment!

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thank you Adeaugustus and Cardelean,

    I never imagined getting hub of the day.

    @ Audeaugustus- They are scary and thrilling at the same time. I am scared to death to stand outside if I know one could be close. My husband grew up around them, so he is like a storm chaser in a sense. He loves to drive around checking them out. (He is the one you could hear talking on the video while I was trying to film the clouds.) Thank you for the Congrats!

    @Cardelean- I can only imagine the horror you children felt. When that tornado passed by my sister's, she was outside in the garden and didn't notice anything was wrong till her children ran outside screaming it was coming their way. She said she could feel the walls shake in their cellar they were in. It left an impact on her kids. No one in the farmhouse that was distroyed or any of the other properties were hurt. We were greatful for that. Thanks again and thank you for the Congrats.

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 6 years ago from America

    Good hub. Being from the south we know tornadoes. I remember as a child my uncle jerking me and my cousin out of bed and heading down the road to a neighbors shelter.

    We were in that shelter all night with the spiders and other neighbors.

    Later as grown-ups with two small children we went for a visit. Tornadoes all over the place we had to put the kids on our hips and run across the cow pasture for shelter.

  • cardelean profile image

    cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

    We had a couple of tornadoes hit just a couple of miles from our house last summer. It got very dark at my house and the rain was coming down sideways with hail. My kids were very frightened because they had never experienced anything like that before but we were spared any injuries or real damage. Congrats on your hub of the day!

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Simone,

    I wrote a guy that took a video of the tornado that went by my sister's house to see if he would let me use it here, but I haven't heard back yet to see. Since our area is still in tornado season, I may luck out to get more footage. (As long as it is from a nice distance away...LOL!) Thanks again for your comment!

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

    Fascinating! I've only seen one tornado in person before, and it was far enough in the distance for me not to be worried, but gosh... they really are a sight to behold. I'd be so nervous about living somewhere where tornados are known to strike, but then again, an earthquake could hit me at any time and I guess they can be just as bad!

    This is an AMAZING Hub- your photos and video are awesome additions, and I've learned a bunch! Voted up, useful, interesting, and awesome!

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks K9,

    It took me forever to learn the difference between warnings and watches. Even still I get them mixed up. My worste experience was in 2010 and I was driving to a nearby town. I watched a huge cell develop and thought the eye of the storm was pretty and interesting with how fast it formed. It didn't occure to me that it was the beginning of a funnel cloud until it dropped lower. By the time the rain and wind hit, I was afraid I was going to be killed. I was all over the road trying to control the vehicle and the rain was so heavy you couldn't see. Let's just say it renewed my faith in God to know that I made it through the storm unharmed. Many others weren't so lucky. Thanks again for sharing your story!

  • K9keystrokes profile image

    India Arnold 6 years ago from Northern, California

    Wonderful descriptions tlpoague. When I was in the Air Force, I was stationed in Texas for a short tour. during this time I experienced first hand the power, rage, and devastation brought on by being unprepared for a tornado. The (brick) shopping mall was wiped out and the roof's of several buildings on base went flying all over the flight-line. It was a very shocking and frightening thing for a west coast girl to live through. Since then, I have been in a few other tornado's throughout the country, but that first one will always stick in my mind. I wish I had this to read back then, some 30 years ago. Your hub is very important and I thank you for sharing it with us today.



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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks! I am working on another one, but haven't published it yet. Hopefully it will be up in another day or two.

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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Paradise,

    Storms like these can be thrilling in a way and yet terrifying. From a distance, I don't mind watching. But to see one up close and thank you! I have seen a few hubs written by the Jopin Missouri survivors of a large tornado. Their pictures are amazing and touching, bringing to reality the dangers of tornadoes. Thanks again for stopping by.

    Thanks Jaye,

    I too live in an area that is visited often by tornadoes. It seems as if everyone in the neighborhood has a scanner to listen to the storm chasers. Any time a storm is in the area, I have my hubby search the clouds for any possible funnels. We have had a couple of close calls, but so far have been lucky. Hopefully those in your area will take the time to build storm cellars in case of the "big one". As you say, if a big tornado hits, hiding behind a wall wont help much. Thanks again for stopping by.

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    Jaye Denman 6 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Living in central Mississippi, USA, I've been hearing the Tornado Warning sirens for a long time. I've also experienced first-hand the damage that even a smaller, less-powerful tornado can create. The killer tornadoes that wreaked so much death and devastation during recent months don't happen as often, but there's always that chance (and fear) that they will.

    Our local TV channels broadcast continuously during the days and nights when actual tornadoes are passing through my state in their usual southwest to northeast pattern (which comes right through where I live). Those are the only times I watch TV, and I pay pretty close attention to the weathercasters. One channel even reports a tornado's progress, street by street, rural road by road, until the danger ends. These broadcasts, plus the weather warning sirens give residents their best chance for survival.

    The major problem in this area is that almost no one has either a basement or storm cellar for protection when a tornado is imminent. You have only to look at photos of completely leveled buildings when a high-force tornado has hit to recognize that following the usual advice to "go to an interior hall without windows" won't help much if the entire house--hall and all--blows away in a violent churning cloud.

    While our area is known as the "Dixie Tornado Alley" and the midwest claims the dubious honor of the "Tornado Alley" designation, you're right to point out that "rogue" tornadoes are hitting states where they've previously been extremely rare. I subscribe to the global warming theory, and hope my fellow citizens of earth will take that theory more seriously.

    I'm afraid I'm not a storm-watcher, as I'm afraid of the power of a deadly tornado. I've known people who reveled in the sound and fury of a "thunder-boomer" and even got thrills from seeing a funnel cloud. I am definitely not one of them!

    Thanks for an interesting and timely hub.


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    ParadiseForever 6 years ago from Chennai, India.

    It's very nice of you to share the experiences of Tornado watch here in HubPages. Beautiful pictures and videos. Great experience. We, in India, never have these kind of experiences. I love mother nature very much. Thanks for making me the feeling of inside a Tornado, by your beautiful writing. Keep writing.

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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Jill,

    Ya, it made for one exciting trip. Even today my son loves to watch storms. Last summer I had another close encounter with one. It seems like they are getting stronger each year. So far we have been lucky. I hope it continues. Thanks again for dropping by. :)

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    jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

    Wow, that was one close encounter! I am thankful that all of you are safe.

    God bless!

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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Tamarajo,

    I agree that they can be extremely frightening. I think this years is going to be a record setting year for them. I think areas that aren't use to seeing them will begin to see them. Thanks again for stopping by.

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    Tamarajo 6 years ago

    I live at the northern tip of tornado alley a category 4-5 hit our county last year during a super cell storm passing through the area. I previously was never too frightened by them until that storm which developed a new healthy respect for how damaging and unpredictable they can be. My husband is a spotter and will go out with him on occasion but when the grandkids are around I do have a shelter prepared for it.

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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thank you Toknowinfo,

    That is one of many experiences I have had with thunderstorms or tornadoes. I can say that I have been lucky. My husband loves to drive around to "storm chase" but I would rather be in or near the safety of my basement.

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    toknowinfo 6 years ago

    This was a well written story. You had me glued to the words. I am glad the tornado did not affect you physically. Mother nature is beautiful, awesome, scary and powerful. We need to take precautions where and whenever we can. Thanks so much for sharing your exciting story. Rated up and awesome.

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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    I agree. Quick action is vital. I am glad to hear that they are using precautions now.

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    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Yes. Within a few months, the county implemented a public health service watch and warning system that went directly to schools and all government agencies as well as began trainings for staff. I'm sure the system is much more sophisticated now as the event happened around 20 years ago.

    Thank goodness your Dad wasn't hurt by his close call and that he was able to get others to listen to him. Quick action is vital, and even then it's not always enough to survive.

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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Happy,

    Wow, That is terrible to have such a loss. I am glad to hear that your son is ok. When one touch down in my hometown, my dad saw it and told some people standing next to him to seek shelter. They looked at him like he was nuts then as the debris passed by they realized he was serious. The tornado took out the trailer park and did damage to surrounding houses and killed two people. Tornadoes in that area were rare to non-existant.

    Do they teach tornado safety now?

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    Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Great hub on a timely topic that could help save lives. Felt like I was sitting in that car right with you. Tornados scare me more than any other storm because there's so little warning. When my son was 10, one struck an elementary school in the next town and killed or injured many of the students because they were in a glass walled cafeteria and the cafeteria collapsed when the tornado hit. Tornados were rare in that area and staff hadn't been educated that children should be away from windows. I had just heard about all the kids trapped in the other school when I went to pick my 10 year old son up at his school. He ran out of the building all happy and excited. "Mom, A storm that passed by was AWESOME. Our windows were open and papers were swirling around the room. Teacher said "You, you, you, jump up and close them." I was one of the ones she told to get up and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The trees and bushes we planted last spring were flying by. It was really cool!!!"

    I got chills down my spine, realizing for the first time how close that tornado must have come to touching down at his school, and when he heard the news that a tornado had touched down a few miles away he was really upset cause even at a young age he realized it could have been him.

    Some of the mothers at the other school were my co-workers. Their kids had survived but the entire community was devastated by the loss.

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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Real,

    I don't like talking much on camera. I hate pictures of myself, so I try to avoid as much of the camera as possible. This storm had some interesting clouds that I thought would make a good hub. I will check with her to see if I can use them. I don't blame you for being a chicken.

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    Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Gosh Tip I didn't realize you took the video! I'm glad you're all ok too! If your sister has the video you should add it! I've never really seen a good lightening storm.

    I run up and down checking the storm and taking pictures. Im too scared to stay up here long but I'm chicken!

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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks Real,

    I am glad your family is ok. This seems to be a bad year for them. My family loves to stand outside and watch them. Not me, I will be in the basement. The only reason I was outside this time, is because I wanted to take pictures and video for the hub. I will have to ask my sister for some of her video. She had a great one of the lightening storm.

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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thank you Kashmir,

    I have to agree. I am at one time or another asking someone what the difference was. I mainly cared if one was on the ground coming at us. My family and I watched one form over our heads. As we started to run inside the whistle blew and the tornado landed a few miles north of us. That was scary. It happened twice in the same week.

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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thank you Cardisa,

    I have never experienced a hurricane. To me that would be scary too. I don't know if you could hear the voices on the video, but my husband was wanting to take a drive to see what other action was going on.

    My sister called me two hours after taking those videos and said that she had better action than mine above her house. It made for a long night last night. My son loved it. He loves watching storms.

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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thank you SusieQ,

    I am glad you enjoyed it. I bet your daughter had a blast. Is she going to be a storm chaser?

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    Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Tip - wow sounds like you had a close encounter! We have had so many tornadoes here lately it is starting to seem like yesterday's news:). The girls are in a little routine where they just grab the things they are responsible for and head to the basement. I lost a tree (well only half of it) just last week. I'm pretty grateful too:)

    Up and awesome.

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    Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

    Hi tlpoague, It is easy to get those terms confused when a Tornado is on the ground near you .

    Useful information .

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    Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

    This is so scary. I am so scared for those experience this horror. I have never experienced this kind of storm being in a hurricane zone, but I know tornadoes leaves a lot of devastation in their paths.

    Very informative hub. Thumbs up.

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    SusieQ42 6 years ago

    Great hub! My daughter just finished a college class, "Storm Watchers" and loved it! Thanks for the entertaining story.

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    Tammy 6 years ago from USA

    Thank you Lovelife,

    I am glad you caught my mistake. I was slightly distacted while writing this at one in the morning. We had three different storms surround us, producing tornadoes. That is why I mentioned that sometimes I get confused by the terms. (Which is easy to do if you are not use to these types of storms.)

    Thanks again and I will quickly fix this.

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    lovelife08 6 years ago from United States

    I may be misreading this Hub, but I live where there are numerous tornadoes, so I want to say that a Tornado Watch is when conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form, and a Tornado Warning is when one is actually occuring. Tornado Watches last for hours because they are simply keeping an eye out, while warnings only last about a half hour or so,sometimes more or less, because that's how long it would take for the tornado to get to and through your area. It sounded like you were saying that a watch is when the tornado is actually occuring, which is not the case, it's just the opposite. Thought I might point that out, because that's how I perceived it to sound.