The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch — meaning conditions are ripe for tornadoes to form — for the Southern half of Missouri through the day and into the night. Tornadoes, high winds, rain, lightning and hail are expected.
To keep safe, NOAA asks that residents know the signs of an impending tornado.
Weather forecasting science is not perfect and some tornadoes do occur without a tornado warning. There is no substitute for staying alert to the sky. Besides an obviously visible tornado, here are some things to look and listen for:
Strong, persistent rotation in the cloud base.
Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base — tornadoes sometimes have no funnel.
Hail or heavy rain followed by either dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift. Many tornadoes are wrapped in heavy precipitation and can’t be seen.
Day or night – Loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn’t fade in a few seconds like thunder.
Night – Small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level near a thunderstorm (as opposed to silvery lightning up in the clouds). These mean power lines are being snapped by very strong wind, maybe a tornado.
Night – Persistent lowering from the cloud base, illuminated or silhouetted by lightning — especially if it is on the ground or there is a blue-green-white power flash underneath.
For more safety information, visit http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/safety.html