Tornadoes in Delaware

March 9, 2023

tornadoes in Delaware

Delaware is among the most vulnerable states in the country to natural disasters. The state is threatened by hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes and nor'easters.

Tornadoes are extremely violent weather events that can leave severe damage and injuries if they hit your home or business. Knowing what to do when a tornado is imminent is key to your safety.

What is a Tornado?

A tornado is a severe weather phenomenon that can cause serious damage. It usually results from tropical storms or hurricanes, when strong winds whip around the storm system.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a tornado as “a severe thunderstorm that is capable of producing a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud.” Tornadoes are also known as twisters, and are one of the most dangerous types of storms.

Delaware is a relatively safe place to live and work, but that doesn’t mean we’re exempt from the threat of extreme weather. The state is projected to face more high-heat days, higher sea levels and heavy rains in the coming years.

The National Weather Service has a great interactive map that tracks tornadoes and other cyclones. It is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about these weather events.

How Do Tornadoes Form?

Tornadoes are the most severe type of tornado and are caused by strong thunderstorms. These storms often contain lightning and hail, which can be large enough to damage a building or cause injuries.

A severe weather threat continues in Delaware today and tomorrow as heavy rain, high winds, and hail continue to move into the state. The National Weather Service has issued Tornado Watches and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings across the region.

In Delaware, tornadoes have only occurred a handful of times in the past century but can be extremely dangerous. In fact, a few of these tornadoes caused extensive damage.

Coastal storms are another common natural disaster that Delaware faces. During the winter, these storms can bring significant flooding and storm surge.

How Can I Prepare for a Tornado?

Tornadoes are a natural disaster that can occur anywhere. However, tornadoes are more common in the Plains States.

The best way to prepare for a tornado is to know your risk and understand what to do in the event of a tornado. Learn about your community's tornado warning and watch system, listen to local radio or television stations for emergency information and follow the instructions to go to a safe place immediately in case of a tornado.

Find a low-lying area where you can lie down, covered with a blanket or other cushion if possible. This could be a basement, storm cellar or a small interior room on the lowest level of your home or building.

What Should I Do if I See a Tornado?

If you see a tornado, stay clear of the storm and seek shelter as soon as possible. The National Weather Service recommends taking shelter in a basement, safe room or interior room away from windows.

If a tornado watch is in effect, stay indoors and follow the warnings on local news and NOAA Weather Radio. You can also use your mobile phone to keep up with the latest storm information.

The risk for severe thunderstorms is high this week in the Mid Atlantic, with tornadoes and damaging wind, hail and flash flooding all possible. The National Weather Service is currently monitoring a large number of area counties and cities for the potential for tornadoes, wind damage and heavy rain.

If a tornado does hit, it could be powerful and cause serious injuries or fatalities. If you suspect that a tornado has formed, get into the closest building and remain there until help arrives.


Tornado Dave is the best place to learn more about severe weather and climate science. He's a veritable tornado of information, and he loves nothing more than educating others about the importance of being prepared for extreme weather events. Make sure to check in with Tornado Dave often, as he's always updating his blog with the latest news and information!
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