Stormy Weather


Where is the best place to hide from a tornado if I’m outdoors?

If there is no other shelter around, storm experts usually recommend that you find a trench or ditch if a tornado is approaching and you don’t have time to get to a tornado shelter or basement. (It is not a good idea to hide under a freeway overpass, as debris can still easily blow inside and prove deadly.) Some people believe that you are safer if you are in a mountain valley, because the mountains will block tornadoes. Actually, tornadoes have swept through valleys, and they have even touched on mountain peaks. Tornadoes have been recorded in the Teton wilderness area at elevations of more than 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), and during the super tornado outbreak of 1974 many tornadoes struck high areas of the Appalachians.

There is also a myth that standing near a river is a safe place to be during a tornado warning. Again, there have been a number of incidents during which tornadoes have been spotted near, or even crossing, streams and rivers as big as the Mississippi and Missouri. It is not unheard of to learn of boats that have been sunk while sailing down a river when a tornado struck.


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