Tornadoes are one of the deadliest forms of weather in the world. They can kill thousands of people in a matter of minutes and are often blamed on climate change.
On Friday and Saturday, dozens of tornadoes ripped through six states, killing at least 14 people and destroying hundreds of homes. Nevertheless, experts say it’s hard to know how climate change affects such storms.
Tornadoes are nature’s most ferocious storms, and they can devastate communities in seconds. They spawn from thunderstorms and produce whirling winds that can reach speeds of 300 miles per hour.
To prevent injuries and death, take shelter immediately when a tornado warning is issued. An underground shelter, basement or safe room are the best options.
If you’re outside, lie flat and protect the back of your head with your arms. Get into a ditch or gully if possible.
A powerful storm system swept across western Kentucky Friday, leaving a trail of damage. One tornado destroyed large parts of Mayfield, and another left thousands of people without power.
The storms prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency in far western Kentucky and utility groups are working to restore power. The governor said some areas were affected by flooding as well. Several roads in the area are closed.
The EF4 tornado that ripped through central Kentucky in December, killing 77 people, is one of the most devastating tornadoes in the state's history. It was triggered by a storm system that formed in Arkansas, moved north through Missouri and Tennessee and continued at high power until it hit central Kentucky.
Several factors contributed to the occurrence of this storm, including a La Nina climate pattern and above-average water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico. These factors could have led to record warmth swelling over the eastern part of the state that allowed the tornado to form.
A warming climate is providing ingredients for severe weather events, and as a result, the activity of tornado outbreaks has increased. As a result, the "Tornado Alley" that was once centered in the Midwest is shifting to the South and East. This shift has the potential to increase the number of tornado disasters in Kentucky and across the country, according to Climate Central.
In the aftermath of one of the deadliest tornado disasters in Kentucky history, people are suffering from loss and damage that will take years to repair. Survivors are also vulnerable to infections because they breathe in the soil, mold, or other contaminants that were blown out of buildings and homes by the storm.
In Mayfield, a town of about ten thousand people, an EF4 tornado blew through on December 10, 2021. Those who made it out of the wreckage are grateful but life hasn't returned to normal yet.
Governor Andy Beshear has set up the Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund to help on-the-ground efforts and provide assistance to families that will need to rebuild. The Fund is open to all Kentuckians who were impacted by the tornadoes.
The storm left many unable to get electricity, and others without shelter. But there are many resources that can help those who need it, and people have stepped up to provide support in a variety of ways.
Tornadoes are among the most unpredictable and dangerous natural disasters. They can destroy property, cause injury and even kill people.
The risk of tornadoes in Kentucky is very high, and there are a number of ways to protect yourself and your family from these powerful storms. You can prepare a plan and an emergency kit, stay aware of weather conditions during thunderstorms, know the best places to shelter both indoors and outdoors, and always protect yourself from injury, especially your head.
Last week, a tornado in western Kentucky destroyed the town of Mayfield and damaged homes and businesses throughout the region. Local officials are reviewing their hazard mitigation plans and seeking lessons learned from previous disasters to avoid future catastrophes.