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Old 04-27-2024, 12:14 PM   #1
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Tornado's while traveling

We are taking a trip through the mid-west in June. We are going to be in areas that have tornados. We know nothing! Is there a weather site that provided warnings or a site that provides us with information on whether we shouldn't travel on a certain area. My motto is safety first. Thank you.
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Old 04-27-2024, 12:23 PM   #2
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Almost any of the current weather apps for your phone will provide watch and warning updates based on your location. Weather Bug, Accuweather, etc. are some of the more popular.

NOAA weather radio also provides real time updates for local conditions.
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Old 04-27-2024, 12:39 PM   #3
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We always watch forecast for next day and have weather apps on our phone for alerts.
We always check out shelters available in the campground. Usually cement block bathrooms are good.
If we think it's just too risky, we have driven to the closest hotel for a better night's sleep.
I've been in a couple tornados before and the camper is the last place you'll find me. Take a chair and umbrella. Go sit in the men's room with your wife. If someone comes to use the facilities, have her step as close to doorway for a moment. Usually not many people using facilities during a storm unless they are sheltering too. Doug
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Old 04-27-2024, 12:42 PM   #4
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I like the MyRadar app which is a weather radar with alerts plus it has the roads visible so you can use it to some extent as a gps. I have seen for example large storms crossing my path ahead so I would generally take a break and grab something to eat if I thought the storms would intersect my path and wait for them to pass. ~CA
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Old 04-27-2024, 01:18 PM   #5
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^^^^2
I can tell you on an iPhone you can turn alerts on and it will go off if you’re in that area for weather and amber alerts.
If you see your going to be staying where severe weather will be, ask the campground if they have a shelter. If they do, quite often it is one of the bathrooms.
The weather underground app you can enter where you are or going and see any watches or warnings and the forecast.
Also via YouTube, search Ryan Hall Y’all. He is live with radar and warnings, very good channel.
I grew up in Oklahoma, unless you saw the tornado coming up your block, life just went on as normal. lol
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Old 04-27-2024, 03:00 PM   #6
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In 2011 we were traveling from CO to see friends in Mountain Home, AR. When going through Kansas and Missouri my wife asked me why there were so many air raid sirens in every city we passed through. We both grew up in Southern California in the late 50's and those were a common sight back then. They were tested every Friday at 12 Noon. When I told her they were for Tornadoes she got seriously concerned about the weather.

That was the week of May 15th. We spent the night in Joplin, MO, eating at Denny's and shopping at Walmart. On May 22, 2011, just a week after we had been there, a tornado leveled Joplin, completely destroying the Denny's and Walmart.

I looked up these website for travelingjw and anyone else traveling in the Midwest during tornado season....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Joplin_tornado

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rvstormshelters/

https://www.fema.gov/pdf/plan/preven...mpgroundcs.pdf

https://www.rvtravel.com/storm-shelters946/
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Old 04-27-2024, 05:05 PM   #7
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There are several apps by NOAA. Weather Radar is one that is good.



Stay tuned to a radio station in the area you are traveling or staying. June used to be a slow month for tornadoes in most of the plains but weather has changed so much there is no slow time any longer. Most weather apps have setups for warnings. Make sure your phone has them turned on.

Kansas can be an interesting place in April, and May and now even in to June and July. Ask me how I know (my wife's family ranch/farm was hit by an EF3 with her brother and family there) Oh, and motels get wiped out about as quick as RV parks so know where the nearest shelter is from you.
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Old 04-28-2024, 08:03 AM   #8
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We have had several encounters with tornados. Stay away from tornado forecast by a day and know your campground tornado plan (Midwest campgrounds will have a tornado plan).

Our encounters with tornados.

One time in Iowa and a Class A RV. Tornados were forecasted for the next morning around 11:00. Left at 7:00 to avoid. Tornados arrived early. Ran right into them. Parked the RV as close as possible to a large concrete building, down wind side. We survived, but very scary. The suction was so strong, it pulled the slide open at the top. Water was traveling horizontally inside the RV. Coming in through the window vents on the passenger side and out the top of the slide on the driver side. Throughout, kids are screaming. I aged a few years.

Another time, traveling through Nebraska. Late at night. Unforcasted tornados showed up just ahead on the interstate. Pulled over at the next exit McDonalds. They allowed us into their basement. With our dog and several other travelers. Place was packed. Spent several hours in the basement. The rest of the night camped in their parking lot. Intermitent tornado sirens throughout the night. As we traveled south the next morning, lots of damage.

The next month, in route to Rocky Mountain National Park. We were in Central Nebraska. Tornados forecasted ahead the next morning. We found a local over-night stop. Stayed where we were. Let the tornados pass.

Our lessons. Stay informed on the weather. Keep away from forecasted tornados by a day. It may require you to delay or divert your trip by a day. But better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 04-28-2024, 12:29 PM   #9
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Having lived most of my life in Kansas I've experienced a few tornados. Taking precautions -- a weather app on your phone and/or a weather radio are good ideas IMO -- but I wouldn't lose a lot of sleep worrying about it what might happen. Tornadoes can appear at the drop of a hat, but most weathermen/women these days go for the drama and will provide ample warning "if conditions are favorable for a tornado or severe weather."
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Old 04-28-2024, 04:44 PM   #10
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Another great resource is the Highway Weather app. It will calculate what the weather will be when you are actually predicted to be in a location then recommend the best time to leave to avoid bad weather. Probably more beneficial when you aren't on a schedule.
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Old 04-28-2024, 05:41 PM   #11
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If you have lived in tornado country you learn to live by the "dry line" forcasts. Simply put there is a front moving through, you can see it as a low pressure line running SW to NE (tornadoes travel that path) and it moves across country. On the left side is dry air, on the right side is wet and hot air. As that line moves east air is moving north on the left side and south on the right side. That movement creates rotation along that line. Rotation creates wall clouds which create tornadoes.

So, if that line is passing through where you are going at the time you are going there, find a place to stop and allow the line to move further east. Simple weather lesson for today. (but I am sure some other expert will add to this lesson. They can't resist LOL)
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Old 04-28-2024, 05:50 PM   #12
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And additionally if you are in that country at the time, thunder follows a flash of lightening but if the rumble continues on and on rather than stopping after the lightening that is HAIL. Hail develops when rain is thrown up and down in the 60-80K foot storm clouds. Each trip up it gets more ice and then it falls. Back up again and each pass is the rumbling you hear. Find cover. It is going to come down to the ground and do lots of damage. We lost many a wheat crop from that kind of hail.
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Old 04-28-2024, 09:44 PM   #13
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My go-to weather app while traveling is “Weather on the Way.” Plot your starting and destination spots, when you plan to leave and it gives you forecast for winds, precip, temps and more for the time you’ll be at any specific point on the trip. It also provides weather alerts via NWS. Great app for traveling.
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Old 05-04-2024, 12:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnightmoon View Post
Almost any of the current weather apps for your phone will provide watch and warning updates based on your location. Weather Bug, Accuweather, etc. are some of the more popular.

NOAA weather radio also provides real time updates for local conditions.
Agree. But you need to sign up for most alerts.
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Old 05-04-2024, 12:59 PM   #15
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The Weather Channel

There are two great sources. One is the Weather Channel, which you can get on your phone or computer as an app. The other is NOAA, which is the official weather warning station. NOAA also gives alerts. They can be accessed on your phone, computer (as an app or at their website) or on an emergency radio. The emergency radios are a great option as they can usually be charged in 3 or 4 different ways, including a crank, so you will not be without information no matter the situation. They are not terribly expensive. The NOAA app on your phone can give warnings, too. We have a couple, one more expensive one that is going to reside in our trailer and can communicate with walkie-talkies we have, and an inexpensive one (about $10) that resides in our emergency bag.

I hope this is helpful!
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Old 05-04-2024, 06:14 PM   #16
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Winds

Don't forget straight line winds, we were camping at Kentucky Speedway and sheriff came thru warning 60 mile an hour straight line winds were coming. At time had a pop up, we lucked out just watched it spin 90 degrees from our truck. We were luck several others flipped over.
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Old 05-04-2024, 09:50 PM   #17
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Everyone has already mentioned apps. Another thing you can do is go to weather.gov and put in the zip where you are or where you'll be traveling. Obviously you'll get the forecast, but at the top of the page for the zip you put in it will list "Hazardous Weather." Many weather offices in severe weather land put out whats called a "Hazardous Weather Outlook." It will list any sever weather potential for the current day as well as for day 2-7. That will give you a good idea of if there is any bad weather for that city or any city that you put in and has the outlook.



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Old 05-05-2024, 04:15 AM   #18
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I had an alert in the Midwest one late afternoon ( not with the trailer) and i pulled into a parking garage and spent the night in the back of my SUV. I was not the only in my car or truck that night.
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Old 05-05-2024, 06:52 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by KCSA75 View Post
Having lived most of my life in Kansas I've experienced a few tornados. Taking precautions -- a weather app on your phone and/or a weather radio are good ideas IMO -- but I wouldn't lose a lot of sleep worrying about it what might happen. Tornadoes can appear at the drop of a hat, but most weathermen/women these days go for the drama and will provide ample warning "if conditions are favorable for a tornado or severe weather."
Hahaha. For sure. Still do it.
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Old 05-05-2024, 08:30 AM   #20
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Take Cover

As inviting as it may seem during a tornado warning avoid stopping under an interstate overpass. Stopping under one can help if you are suddenly in a hail storm. BUT, in a high wind or direct hit by a tornado the tunnel of the underpass becomes a venturi which multiplies the wind speed dramatically!

Best action is to get off the hiway and park close to a solid building, slides in and windows closed. Get out of the RV is possible and go underground as mentioned in these other great posts.
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