Anyone who lives anywhere near tornado alley knows how frightening sitting through even an EF0 tornado can be. You sit with your friends or family in your basement, bathtub, or mobile home during a severe thunderstorm, tracking the tornado warnings on the TV or radio (if the power lines aren't down), and you pray that the threat dissipates before there is any serious storm damage. It's something every midwesterner has been through.
This year, however, it's been the southeast (even Florida), and not the plains, that has been the hardest hit by tornados, large hail, and severe storms so far, according to the NWS.
According to Accuweather, these states are the most affected by the tornado outbreak this year:
Mississippi - 83
Alabama - 71
Texas - 62
Georgia - 53
Missouri - 44
Louisiana - 28
Oklahoma - 24
Kansas - 20
Virginia - 19
Arkansas - 18
The strength of tornadoes is classified by the Enhanced Fujita Scale. (Though it should be noted that every tornado is dangerous and you should seek shelter for even the weakest of storms).
EF0 Tornado - 65 to 85 mph winds
EF1 Tornado - 86 to 110 mph winds
EF2 Tornado - 111 to 135 mph winds
EF3 Tornado - 136 to 165 mph winds
EF4 Tornado - 166 to 200 mph winds
EF5 Tornado - Over 200 mph winds
If there is a tornado in your area be sure to do the following:
- If at home, seek shelter in your basement, a bathtub, under a heavy table or desk, or in a closet. STAY AWAY from windows.
- If at home, NEVER take shelter on the second floor.
- If out on the road and not near a structure, pull over and seek shelter in a ditch.
- If out on the road do not stay in your car, and especially not in your car and on the road.