Tornado Preparation

Tornado Watch Conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms with the potential of tornadoes.
Tornado Warning Tornado has been sighted or detected on radar. Take shelter immediately.
Tornado Warning Siren Signal
  • Steady Blast - Tornado or other disaster.
  • Steady Blast (3 minutes or longer) - Turn to your local broadcast station for information and instructions.
  • No All Clear Signal - Turn to your local broadcast station for information and instructions.

Listen to radio, television, or weather-alert radios for National Weather Service bulletins. Weather-alert radios receive broadcasts and alerts from the Madison National Weather Service and are available at most electronics dealers.

Tornado Safety Tips

Most tornado damage is caused by violent winds. Many injuries and deaths result from flying debris. When a tornado threatens, your immediate action can save your life.

Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Protect your head.

Note: Take a portable radio and flashlight with you when taking shelter.

Tornado Definition and Characteristics

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air which comes in contact with the ground. Tornadoes vary greatly in size, intensity, and appearance. The average movement of a tornado is 30 mph, but speeds of 70 mph have been reported. Wind speeds of between 100 to over 300 mph are possible. The width of a tornado may range from a few yards to over a mile; the path of a tornado may range from a few hundred yards to hundreds of miles.

Wisconsin Tornado Facts