TORNADO Tornado Icon


  • Use a weather alert radio, radio or television weather channel to monitor the approach and severity of the weather:
    • Tornado Watch means weather conditions are favorable to the formation of tornadoes
    • Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted in the area
  • If the Weather Service issues a severe weather or tornado warning for the Tarrant County area, warn others in your immediate area.
  • Close all doors, stay away from windows and other glassed areas.
  • Move inside to a sheltered area.
  • If available, take a battery-powered radio and flashlight with you. Computers in the shelter areas can be used to monitor weather sources over the internet.
  • Remain at the shelter until you can determine the storm system has passed.
  • Reconvene others when the emergency is past to account for all persons.
  • If the All-Hazards sirens sound, seek shelter. Do not leave a protected area until you have determined the storm has passed.

Shelters – Best areas:

  • Basements
  • Inside walls opposite side of corridor from which storm is approaching
  • Restrooms, closets, etc. without windows
  • Interior hallways on the lowest ground floor
  • Interior rooms of a building
  • Avoid rooms with large roof spans, such as an auditorium or arena.

Become Aware

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) broadcasts weather and other all-hazards information over the NOAA Public Alert Radio. These radios are commonly referred to as NOAA weather radios or NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards. These radios can be purchased through local electronic equipment vendors.
All commercial radio stations are in constant receipt of this information and in turn broadcast the same to their listeners. Local radio stations include:
WBAP 820 – AM
KRLD 1080 – AM
KLIF 570 – AM
Additional resources for local weather information over the internet and television includes:
KXAS, NBC Channel 5

WFAA, ABC Channel 8

CBS Channels

For more weather information, the TCU Cable System provides the following sources:

Channels 5.2
KXAS Weather Channel

Channel 35
The Weather Channel

The internet can provide a variety of information through various websites. If possible use available IPhones, cellular phones, or computers to monitor weather conditions.

Outdoor Warning Sirens

The National Weather Service (NWS) issues two types of severe weather notices:

  • Watch (when conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop), and
  • Warning (meaning funnel, hail, flooding, etc. have been sited – take cover.)

Based on National Weather Service information, the Fort Worth Office of Emergency Preparedness will sound Outdoor Warning Sirens strategically placed about the city. These are to warn people of imminent danger. When these sirens are activated seek shelter inside of the closest building.
TCU has two such all-hazard sirens on campus – one by the Charlie and Marie Lupton Baseball Stadium and one across from Tandy Hall.

Environmental Clues

Look out for:

  • Dark, often greenish sky
  • Wall cloud
  • Large Hail
  • Loud roar; similar to freight train

Caution: Some tornadoes appear as a visible funnel extending only partially to the ground. Look for signs of debris below the visible funnel.

Some tornadoes are clearly visible while others are obscured by rain or nearby low-hanging clouds.

Other Thunderstorm Hazards

These dangers often accompany thunderstorms:

  • Flash floods: Number ONE weather killer – 146 deaths annually
  • Lightning: Kills 75-100 people each year
  • Damaging Straight-Line Winds: Can reach 140 mph
  • Large Hail: Can reach the size of a grapefruit – causes several hundred million dollars in damage annually