The annual Statewide Tornado Drill is scheduled for 9:45am on Tuesday, March 17th. NOVA’s faculty, satff, and students who are on campuses or in one of the College’s off-campus locations will once again be participating in this mandatory Statewide Drill.
Tornados can happen anytime, anywhere, with little or no warning. Knowing what to do when seconds count can save lives. Below is some information from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s website on the difference between a tornado watch and warning as well as signs of an impending tornado.
Watches and Warnings
Learn the terms that are used to identify a tornado.
- Tornado Watch: a tornado is possible in your area. You should monitor weather-alert radios and local radio and TV stations for information.
- Tornado Warning: a tornado has been sighted in the area or has been indicated by National Weather Service Doppler radar. When a warning is issued, take cover immediately.
Know the Signs
- Strong, persistent rotation in the base of a cloud
- Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base – tornadoes sometimes have no visible funnel
- Hail or heavy rain followed by dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift. Many tornadoes, especially in Virginia, are wrapped in heavy precipitation and can’t be seen.
- Loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn’t fade in a few seconds like thunder does
- If it’s night, look for small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level (as opposed to silvery lightning up in the clouds). These lights are power lines being snapped by very strong wind, perhaps a tornado.
- Persistent lowering of the cloud base