Tornado Talk – What’s the 411?
The Bay County area is no stranger to severe weather. From heavy downpours on a random Tuesday morning, to large, damaging tropical systems during hurricane season, our area sees more than its fair share of storms. Along with the heavy winds and rain can sometimes come an even more damaging occurrence: tornadoes. While many Floridians are very well versed in the specifics of hurricanes, not as many have the same level of knowledge when it comes to tornadoes. So, let’s talk tornadoes… What’s the 411?
What (exactly) is a Tornado?
Floridadisaster.org defines a tornado as a “violent whirlwind that usually develops in association with a severe thunderstorm.” Wind speeds within an intense tornado can reach upwards of 200 miles an hour, allowing for extensive damage to be created in the path. Tornadoes can form over both land and water, and when formed over water are referred to as waterspouts.
Tornadoes in Florida
Tornadoes are more likely to occur in the Spring and Summer months in Florida, although the possibility does exist throughout the entire year. Tornadoes generally form along strong sea-breeze boundary conditions (summer) and severe super-cell thunderstorm (spring). Specifically in Florida, tornadoes are just as likely to occur in the nighttime hours as they are during the day.
Although tornadoes can spawn and travel very quickly, it is important to always have a way to receive weather alerts and follow the guidance provided by local authorities. Have a designated safe room: an area centrally located within your home and away from windows. Shelter on the lowest level of the structure you are within if you are in the forecasted impact area.
After a Tornado
If a tornado has impacted your local area, think safety first! Avoid downed power lines, stay out of damaged buildings, and watch for hazards such as broken glass. Continue to follow the direction of local authorities in the area.
As of 2020, the Insurance Information Institute reports that tornadoes accounted for over eight billion in property damage across the United States. If your property becomes a part of this unfortunate statistic, know that the team at SERVPRO of Bay County has the training, experience, and equipment to help. Serving the communities of Mexico Beach, Lynn Haven, Panama City Beach, and surrounding areas, our team is “Faster to Any Size Disaster.” To learn more, or request service, please give us a call at 850-785-1077.