Hazardous Weather Focus: Tornadoes

By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email
By: Meteorologist Ray Hawthorne Email

We've all seen the unspeakable destruction caused by twisters in our region. Nineteen lost their lives in the devastating February 14, 2000 outbreak in Southwest Georgia; four perished in Camilla in March 2003, and six fatalities were recorded in last year's March 1st outbreak in Baker county, Georgia.

The most recent statistics show that, not surprisingly, Texas leads the nation in both the number of tornadoes and fatalities from them. But Florida ranks fourth and Georgia thirteenth in numbers, and 19th and 14th in fatalities, respectively.

Tornado Alley experiences more destructive storms than our region, but mobile homes that dot the deep south are no match for even a weak tornado.

There are some things we all can do to minimize our risk from these deadly storms.

Know your risk for tornadoes by tuning in our pinpoint weather center during severe weather alerts. Purchase a Weather Radio that has an audio alarm, so you can be alerted to bad weather at night. Identify a sturdy shelter that you can move to in a matter of seconds. Mobile homes are not safe. If no other place is available, move to a ditch and cover your head with your hands.

One final thing: opening your windows before a tornado arrives will NOT make you any safer. Use that time to seek shelter.

Weather Radios can be purchased at a discount this month thanks to a partnership between Publix, WCTV, and Midland radios.


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