Do You Know the Signs of a Tornado?

Do You Know the Signs of a Tornado?

April 05, 2024

In Central Arkansas, especially Faulkner County, we are no stranger to tornados. It seems like the whole state has felt the effect of one at some point or another. So it’s important to be familiar with the signs of a tornado and what to do during and after. Over the course of the next few weeks we are going to be giving tips and tricks on how to be prepared for a tornado starting with how you can recognize the signs of one. 

Signs of a Tornado

Every spring, Arkansans face thunderstorms, wind events and tornados. Sometimes you know ahead of time, or hear a warning on the TV. Other times, it’s a beautiful day and you’re in the middle of a baseball game, and the weather simply turns. So here are some tips on top things to look for when the weather is bad or changes quickly in your area.

Dark Greenish Skies

Thunderstorms tend to happen later in the day when the air has heated up and had a chance to get humid. Some scientists believe it’s the water particles that create a dark green hew and others say this only happens if there is a red sunset behind the storm. Both agree that green skies aren’t a necessary component to the conditions of a tornado, so remember to be aware of these other signs.

Large Hail

Near the center of a thunderstorm, large hail can occur. This is also often where tornados form. So if you experience large hail, be on alert.

Large, Dark, Low-Lying Clouds

Wall clouds are compact, and when those clouds experience rotation, they can create funnel clouds and tornadoes. Many describe seeing a large cloud, often very thick, moving quickly. This can be the early formation of a tornado so it's a good time to stay alert. 

Alarming Noises

Be aware of sirens in your area. Tornado sirens in the south are a great way to stay on alert. But if you hear a slow roar that gets louder and louder, or something that sounds like a freight train coming right at you, you might need to be on the look out for a tornado. These sounds can come from the storm winds or the debris in the air, so be aware of flashes from power lines and other things between you and the storm.


There are many signs of a tornado, but these are a few of the most common things to look out for to give yourself enough time to get to shelter. Over the next few weeks we will give tips on emergency kits, and what to do during and after a tornado. Spring is a good time of year to go over your plan with your loved ones and be ready in case of a weather event.