The 5 Different Types of Tornadoes and How to Protect Your Business

Tornadoes, or twisters, don’t always whisk you away to the land of Oz. Regardless of the different types of tornadoes, they can be destructive with strong winds that can put lives and property at risk.

When a tornado stays on land for a long stretch of time, it can continue to change shape and size. Not sure about the different types of the tornado and how to protect your business? Read on to find out more.

1. Rope Tornado

These types of tornadoes are some of the smallest and most common, getting their name from their rope-like appearance. Most tornadoes begin and end their life cycle as a rope tornado before growing or dissipating into nothing.

However, these tornado types may only last a few brief minutes when they are in contact with the ground. Although they look weaker, don’t be fooled, as some get more intense as they narrow and tighten.

2. Cone Tornadoes

Cone tornadoes, like rope tornadoes, get their name from the shape. They are narrower when they touch the ground and are more dangerous as their paths are wider.

A stovepipe tornado and the cone tornado are similar. A difference is that they have the same width at the base of the thunderstorm as where they meet the ground.

3. Wedge Tornadoes

These are some of the most destructive tornadoes. The wedge tornado, like the tornado name, is at least half-mile wide and has a rating of EF-3 or higher.

4. Multi-Vortex and Satellite Tornadoes

Supercell thunderstorms can produce multiple tornadoes at once and have a strong circulation which helps form the tornado.

Multi-vortex means you have at least two areas swirling around the main parent circulation. These circulations are little rope tornadoes that also wreak havoc. In extreme cases, a storm can produce two independent tornadoes called “satellite tornadoes”.

5. Waterspouts and Landspouts

Waterspouts and landspouts look like tornadoes but they can form when no thunderstorms are in the area.

A waterspout is a column of rotating wind that develops downward from cumulus clouds to a body of water.  Spouts can pack winds up to 200 miles per hour and move across the water up to 15 miles per hour.

Landspouts are similar as you can get the right conditions for a weak vortex to form. It’s enough to connect the ground to the thunderstorm above. Yet they are short-lived and last for a few minutes.

How to Protect Your Business from Tornadoes?

It’s essential to protect your business by:


Find the safest area in a building so employees know where to assemble in the event of a warning. You should also practice with tornado drills and designate the roles of supervisors during an event.

Take Actions to Minimize Property Damage

Secure outdoor gear and outbuildings. Also, reinforce vulnerable areas such as adding support to garage doors.

Monitor Threatening Weather

The National Weather Service provides local weather broadcasts over NOAA Weather Radio from over 1,000 transmitters worldwide. Use these to track any warnings and take each one seriously.

Now You Know the Different Types of Tornadoes

It’s essential to know the different types of tornadoes and track their progress. If there is a warning take it seriously so you can protect your employees and your business. Always plan so you can be prepared and take necessary precautions. Stay safe!

If you need urgent emergency relief, we’re here to help. Contact us here for more details.


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