CLEVELAND - As spring approaches, so does severe weather season. That's why you'll hear the statewide tornado drill sound at 9:50 a.m. Wednesday.
This week is Severe Weather Safety Awareness Week, a good time to make a safety plan for your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.
Experts say planning ahead will lower the chance of injury or death in the event severe weather strikes.
Tornadoes develop from severe thunderstorms and are usually preceded by very heavy rain and/or large hail. A thunderstorm accompanied by hail indicates that the storm has large amounts of energy and may be severe. In general, the larger the hailstones, the more potential there is for damaging winds and/or tornadoes.
The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths have exceeded the width of one mile and 50 miles long, officials report.
Tornadoes generally move from southwest to northeast, but have also been recorded traveling in any direction. The forward speed of a tornado varies from 30 mph to 70 mph.
Peak tornado season in Ohio is generally April through July, and tornadoes usually occur between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Last year though, an EF1 tornado occurred in Fairfield County at 6 a.m., proving tornadoes can happen at any time, during any season.
The Enhanced Fujita Scale is a set of wind estimates (not measurements) based on damage. It uses three-second gusts estimated at the point of damage based on a judgment of eight levels of damage.
Enhanced Fujita Scale
OPERATIONAL EF SCALE