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There’s an incredibly vast amount of misinformation about tornadoes out there. While most myths have already been debunked long ago, several still spread as if they were true. Several casualties could have been prevented, were it not for this irresponsible practice. It’s about time these myths are debunked—whether you like it or not, the next tornado could be hitting your town. And the best way you could protect yourself from it?

Tornado MythsMyth No.1: Hiding under a highway overpass is the safest thing to do when a tornado hits.

The myth began when several media men were saved from a tornado by hiding under a highway overpass in Kansas back in 1991. The video circulated and was published in several newspapers, and from then on people began to seek safety under overpasses. Unfortunately, many others who hid under a highway overpass during a tornado were not as fortunate as the media men. In contrast, they suffered some of most fatal tornado casualties, including a women who was dragged for half a mile.

Meteorologists and scientists actually argue that a highway overpass is actually the worst place to be in during a tornado outbreak. According to a study by the National Weather Service, the embankment of an overpass is higher than its surroundings. Since the height of the terrain has a direct impact on wind speed, the elevated ground under an overpass will bear the most damage. Also, the space under a highway overpass is completely bare, without any corners where people can hide. There is absolutely no protection from debris or tornadoes speeding through.

Myth No.2: Tornadoes don’t hit the big cities.

There’s a grain of truth in this myth, according to a professor at the University of Chicago. The so-called urban heat island effect discourages weak tornadoes from forming in cities; mainly because the temperature in such areas disrupts the formation of a tornado.

However, this only holds true for small tornadoes. Intense tornadoes can hit cities just as much as any other area. This has happened before in many large cities and it can happen again, so don’t assume that you’re safe just because you live in a city.

Myth No.3: You can escape a tornado by driving fast.

Almost every disaster movie features the characters escaping a violent tornado with their cars. While some characters meet their demise precisely because of this brazen move, a lucky few in these movies survive.

The reason why you shouldn’t drive away from a tornado is obvious: disaster movies are nowhere near as accurate as what happens in reality! More importantly, some cars may be faster than an average tornado, but the latter can easily damage the structure of the former. Also, the direction of tornadoes is hard to predict; a tornado might appear right in front of you just when you thought you’ve outsmarted it.


By Matt Reynolds - Google+
Posted 10:42 AM  View Comments

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