Tornadoes in Spring Time


Austin Helbock

CCHS students and faculty, Carbondale is in a tornado zone and spring tends to have a peak of storms. On March 3rd, Nashville, Tennessee was hit by a EF-3 tornado. The storm buried 140 buildings and killed 24 people with a countless amount of people still missing. The governor declared an emergency and sent the National Guard to help with search-and-rescue efforts. One twister wrecked homes and businesses across a 10-mile stretch of Nashville that included parts of downtown. It smashed more than three dozen buildings, including destroying the tower and stained glass of a historic church. Another tornado damaged more than 100 structures along a 2-mile path of destruction in Putnam County, wiping some homes from their foundations and depositing the wreckage far away.

Most people think that storms will never hit them and tend to ignore it until it’s too late. First signs of a tornado is: a dark or green colored sky; a large, low-lying cloud; large hail or; a loud roar that sounds like a freight train. If you notice any of these conditions, take cover immediately, and keep tuned to local radio and TV stations or to a NOAA weather radio or check the internet. The places that you could take shelter in is a basement or an inside room without windows on the lowest floor. Try to avoid windows as much as possible and try to protect your head. If you live in a mobile home, then it is recommended to not stay there.

Carbondale has not had a major tornado in a long while. The last tornado reported in Carbondale was April 5th, 2017. It was reported as EF-1 tornado that left damage to homes but fortunately to no citizens. Trent Ford, Illinois state climatologist with the State Water Survey at the University of Illinois, said Tuesday that this zone has shifted east. Where once the majority of tornado activity was relegated to places like Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, he said, tornado activity has shifted over to Southern Illinois and northern Mississippi. Ford said several studies over the last decade have confirmed the shift. Research also shows the storms aren’t just one-and-done systems. Researchers are seeing an increase in the region in tornado outbreaks — systems that spawn more than one tornado. Ford said while research is still being conducted, it is not alarmist to attribute some of the shift to climate change. He said with increasing temperatures, it does make it more likely that the region will have conditions that are conducive to severe weather earlier in the spring.

Tennessee tornado damage 2