How do you know to take shelter from a tornado when you can't tell it's even coming?
Here in the Great Plains, tornadoes can often be seen from miles away. When we see that frightening funnel shape, we all know to get inside — below ground if possible.
Sure, the above photo shows what looks like a nasty storm, but based on sight, would you know to shelter in place if you saw this coming?
Inside this rain shower is a tornado that hit near Lawrence, Kansas, May 28. The tornado produced EF-4 damage from wind estimated to reach speeds higher than 165 mph.
Fargo Storm chaser Ryan Mauk took this video of a rain-wrapped tornado near Mayville, North Dakota, in July of 2016.
Even on our relatively treeless landscape, you cannot tell there's a tornado in the above video, because it is totally hidden by heavy rain.
Tornadoes can also be hidden from view when it's dark. Last month, Dayton, Ohio, was hit by a violent tornado in the middle of the night.
Several scientific studies show rain-wrapped and nighttime tornadoes do, in fact, cause significantly more fatalities than tornadoes that are more easily seen. This is why it is important to heed all tornado warnings for your area. Don't wait until you actually see a tornado coming at you.