Tornado hits Belize during T.S. Harvey


A very interesting weather change is happening in Belize, normally a land where you’d expect the yearly hurricane season except his year brought with it a new monster to look out for; Tornadoes. With this new threat, there needs to be stronger regulations on building  design and construction to include this new threat if it has not been thought out as yet. Public awareness also needs to be pushed through media houses on a regular basis, schools need to start implementing drills for students to follow if one does happen while they are at school.

Here is a short video of the one that hit Crooked Tree as a result of T.S. Harvey

What is a Tornado you ask? I know some of us already know what is is, but for those that don’t, this article is for you.

Tornado – A tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.

What causes tornadoes?

  • Thunderstorms develop in warm, moist air in advance of eastward-moving cold fronts. These thunderstorms often produce large hail, strong winds, and tornadoes.
  • Tornadoes occasionally accompany tropical storms and hurricanes that move over land. Tornadoes are most common to the right and ahead of the path of the storm center as it comes onshore.

Tornado Variations

  • Some tornadoes may form during the early stages of rapidly developing thunderstorms
  • Tornadoes may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up.
  • Occasionally, two or more tornadoes may occur at the same time.

The following are facts about tornadoes:

  • They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
  • They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
  • The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 MPH, but may vary from stationary to 70 MPH.
  • Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., but can occur at any time.

What to do Before a Tornado

  • Be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Listen to your weather reports
  • Look for approaching storms
  • Look for the following danger signs:
    • A sickly greenish or greenish black color to the sky.
    • If there is a watch or warning posted, then the fall of hail should be considered as a real danger sign. Hail can be common in some areas, however, and usually has no tornadic activity along with it.
    • A strange quiet that occurs within or shortly after the thunderstorm.
    • A large, dark, low-lying cloud, clouds moving by very fast, especially in a rotating pattern or converging toward one area of the sky.
    • A sound a little like a waterfall or rushing air at first, but turning into a roar as it comes closer. The sound of a tornado has been likened to that of both railroad trains and jets.
    • Debris dropping from the sky.
    • An obvious “funnel-shaped” cloud that is rotating, or debris such as branches or leaves being pulled upwards, even if no funnel cloud is visible.
    • If you see a tornado and it is not moving to the right or to the left relative to trees or power poles in the distance, it may be moving towards you! Remember that although tornadoes usually move from southwest to northeast, they also move towards the east, the southeast, the north, and even northwest.

If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

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