Yazoo City Mississippi was struck by a 1/2 to 3/4 mile wide tornado during April 24, 2010.
Highlighted is the radar image of the tornado at 12:14 CDT, courtesy of wunderground.com. The tornado signature shows a dBZ of 70, which is extreme radar reflectivity.
This visible satellite image from GOES-EAST, taken during the time of the tornado, clearly shows the massive cloud cover in the area.
The violent swirling winds within a tornado are can reach speeds greater than 300mph and cause total destruction. Tornado intensity is rated using the Fujita Scale, also known as the F Scale. The determination is based on the damage that is inflicted on structures and vegetation.
The best way to survive a tornado
is by being aware and alert. Pay attention to the weather forecast and know if there is a severe weather watch in your location. If there is a severe weather ‘watch’, that means that severe weather is likely. A ‘warning’ means that severe weather is happening now. Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio, many of which can be set to automatically siren or warn of impending severe weather.
Plan ahead of time where you will go in the event of a tornado. The best place is a storm shelter designed for this situation. Next is a basement along a north or east facing wall, underneath stairs or a table which will help protect from falling debris. If you do not have a basement, then move to the smallest room or closet away from the tornado. A bathroom, inside the tub is best. Use a couch or seat cushion over your head. If you are caught outside, the best thing to do is look for a ditch and lie down flat. The point is to be lower than the ground surface plane where deadly debris will be whizzing by, and to be low so as to not be a lightning rod.