Tornadoes in Arizona are rare occurrences, but when they do happen, they can be terrifying and destructive. With the desert climate and the many mountains and canyons, Arizona is a unique environment for tornadoes to form. Even though they are not as frequent as in other parts of the country, it is important to be aware of how these storms can affect your area and to know what to do if one were to occur. In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about tornadoes in Arizona, including the types of tornadoes that occur in the state, the typical season for them, and what steps to take if you are ever caught in the path of one. With the right knowledge, you can stay safe and informed if a tornado ever strikes your area.
Does Arizona Get Tornadoes?
Yes, Arizona does get tornadoes. Arizona is sometimes at risk for tornadoes due to its location. The state is located in the southwestern United States and lies in the path of several storm systems that can bring tornadoes. Tornadoes in Arizona are not as common as they are in other states, like Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. However, they do occur and can be quite damaging. In the last 10 years, Arizona has seen an average of 5-7 tornadoes each year.
Types Of Tornadoes In Arizona
- There are two main types of tornadoes that occur in Arizona: land tornadoes and waterspouts. Land tornadoes are the most common type and occur when warm, moist air rises and meets a cold, dry wind. This causes a rotating column of air called a mesocyclone that appears as a funnel-shaped cloud extending toward the ground.
- Waterspouts are similar to land tornadoes, but they form over water, such as lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. This type of tornado is most common in the summer months when the water is warm and atmospheric instability is present.
- Knowing the types of tornadoes that can occur in Arizona can help you identify a storm if it becomes dangerous and know how to react. Although rare, there are even instances of climbers ascending mountains in Arizona being affected by tornadoes, so you should always be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on the sky for warning signs.
Season For Tornadoes In Arizona
- The season for tornadoes in Arizona can vary from year to year depending on the weather patterns. Areas such as the southwest desert and Yuma are known to experience tornadoes from October to March, while the higher elevations of the northeast can see them from June to September.
- While there is no specific time frame for tornadoes in Arizona, there are a few indicators that can tell you when a storm is becoming dangerous, such as changes in the weather, thunderstorms, and lightning.
- You should also keep an eye on the clouds above you as they are an indicator of which direction the storm is moving. If you notice a storm that begins to rotate or show other signs of dangerous weather, you should seek shelter as quickly as possible.
What To Do If A Tornado Is Coming?
- If a tornado is coming toward you, you should seek shelter immediately. Depending on your location, there are several places you can go if you are caught in a tornado.
- If the tornado is far away, you should go indoors and get away from windows and outside walls. You should also go to the basement or the lowest level of the building if you cannot get to the basement.
- If you are in a car, you should get out of the car and go as far away from it as possible. Driving away from the tornado is not advised because you cannot outrun it.
- If you are in a very tall building, you should go to the lowest floor possible. If you are outside, you should get into a car, a sturdy building, or a forested area.
- If you can’t get to one of those, you should lie down in a low, flat area and cover your head with your hands.
Where To Seek Shelter During A Tornado
- When a tornado is approaching, the best place to seek shelter is in a sturdy building. This could be a home, office building, or any other structure that can provide protection from wind and debris.
- If you are unable to get to a sturdy building, look for a low-lying area such as a ditch or ravine and lie down in it. Make sure to cover your head with your hands and stay as low as possible.
- If you are in an open area such as a field or park, try to find something like a large tree that you can crouch behind for protection. Avoid seeking shelter under bridges or overpasses as these structures can collapse in high winds.
- While you should seek shelter in the highest level of a sturdy building if you are in a city, there are several options for shelter if you are in a rural area. Your first option is to seek shelter in a sturdy car.
- If you are in a rural area, you can also seek shelter in a sturdy barn or building. If you are in a desert environment, you can also seek shelter in a low, flat spot in a desert area. If you are in a mountainous area, you can also seek shelter in a sturdy building or a low, flat spot in a mountainous area. You can also seek shelter underground in a storm cellar.
- If you are in a rural area, you can seek shelter in a culvert. You should also keep in mind that tornadoes can also happen in the winter, so you should have a place to seek shelter in any season.
After A Tornado Strikes
- If you and your loved ones survive a tornado, there are a few things you should do after it passes. First, you should stay away from power lines and find a safe place to go. Next, you should alert emergency responders that you need help.
- After that, you should make sure all of your family members are okay, including any pets or farm animals. You should also check on any neighbors and offer assistance if needed.
- Finally, you should make note of the area around you and take pictures if possible. This can help officials better understand what happened in your area and help them respond more quickly and efficiently.
How To Prepare For A Tornado?
- When you live in a place like Arizona that has a higher chance of tornadoes, you should always be prepared to react quickly and efficiently. To better prepare for a tornado, you can do the following:
- Stay informed – Keep an eye on the weather – Check your emergency kit – Review your plan with your loved ones – Stay calm – Stay indoors – Avoid flood waters After a tornado has passed, you should keep an eye out for any damage to your home and make a list of repairs that are needed.
- You should also keep an eye on your property for any tornadoes that may be forming. Knowing what to do if a tornado strikes your area is an important part of staying safe. Make sure you are prepared so that you can stay safe if a tornado ever hits your area.
Tornadoes in Arizona are rare occurrences, but when they happen, they can be terrifying and destructive. With the desert climate and the many mountains and canyons, Arizona is a unique environment for tornadoes to form. Even though they are not as frequent as in other parts of the country, it is important to be aware of how these storms can affect your area and to know what to do if one were to occur.