Before a Storm or Tornado

Improvements in technology for severe weather monitoring and public warning have steadily increased the average advance warning time for the onset of hazardous weather. Weather information is now available through a wide variety of sources.

Even so, recently in a local jurisdiction, after a tornado struck a local mall, residents that were interviewed by the media stated that they "had no idea," and were "caught unaware" though advisories had been broadcast throughout the day and a tornado watch had been in effect for hours before.

Warning & Watch Responsibility

A clear understanding of what information means will help with assessing your personal risk, and taking proper, timely action. Ultimately, understanding and heeding the warnings is the responsibility of each individual.

Visual Danger Signs

Occasionally severe storms can intensify and generate tornadoes with little warning. Watch for visible signs that dangerous conditions are developing at your location and know it may require taking shelter quickly.

  • Dark, often greenish sky
  • Wall clouds
  • Large hail
  • Loud roaring sound, similar to a freight train
  • At night, sparks or flashes from power lines, especially if they appear to be progressing in a line, can indicate the presence of a tornado
  • Tornadoes can be nearly transparent until they pick up dust or debris. Look below the visible funnel for signs of debris at ground level

Helpful Resource

Missouri StormAware