The science behind hurricanes and how to prepare for them

The science behind hurricanes and how to prepare for them

Hello, CSRA, your friendly neighborhood meteorologist is here! Today, we’re diving into the fascinating world of tornadoes — how they form, how we track them on radar, what these watches and warnings really mean, and most importantly, how you can stay safe.

Hurricane formation

When you think of tornadoes, your mind probably goes straight to Tornado Alley, right? While most tornadoes form there, it is not surprising to see tornadoes in our own backyard. Our location in the southeastern United States exposes us to the collision between warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and cooler, drier air from the north. When these air masses collide, boom! We have an environment capable of producing extreme weather, including hurricanes.


WJBF’s weather team closely monitors atmospheric mood swings — such as wind shear, humidity, and instability — to predict whether a hurricane is ready to steal the spotlight.

Tornadoes on the radar

Now you’re probably wondering: How can we keep tabs on these troublemakers? Our weather team is equipped with cutting-edge radar technology, LIVE Vipir 6, that can detect these rotating storms. This is not your grandmother’s radar. She’s got a great trick up her sleeve. She doesn’t just see rain; Tracks movement. When raindrops, or more dangerously, hurricane debris move, LIVE Vipir 6 picks it up. Our radar resolution allows us to track storms in real time, giving you the closest warning possible.

Enter Star Storm – the supercell. It’s like a giant rotating thunderstorm. When it collides with those opposing air masses, it becomes the master of tornado creation.

Have you ever heard of echo hook? It’s like the movement of a tornado marked on the radar. Our weather team watches for this fishhook-shaped pattern, which often indicates a tornado is forming.

Tornado Watch vs. Warning

We often use terms like “monitor” and “warning,” but what do these terms really mean? A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for tornado formation. It’s a warning to stay vigilant. A tornado warning, on the other hand, means it’s time to take cover – a tornado has been spotted or detected on radar. Understanding these differences is key to responding quickly and appropriately.

Hurricane preparation

Now, the most important part: How do you prepare for the unexpected guest that is a hurricane? Start with an emergency kit stocked with the essentials: water, non-perishable foods, a flashlight, batteries, and important documents. Locate a safe place in your home or workplace; Basements, storm cellars, or interior rooms in the basement away from windows are ideal.

Arm yourself with the latest weather information with reliable apps like the WJBF Live Vipir 6 Weather App, and keep NOAA Weather Radio at your fingertips. We’re here to keep you updated, but having your own sources can be a game-changer. Practice your family emergency plan so everyone knows their role and where to go in the event of a tornado.

Final thoughts

CSRA, we are in this together. Hurricanes may not be our daily forecast, but understanding their formation, tracking them on the radar, and preparing for them is our shared responsibility. Trust the weather team at WJBF News to keep you informed and take the necessary steps to stay safe. Let’s weather the storm together.


Do you have a weather-related topic and want to know the science behind it? Send your ideas to mhyatt@wjbf.com.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *