Tornadoes form when cool, dry air sits on top of warm, moist air. In the plains areas of Colorado this often happens in the spring and early summer when cool, dry mountain air rolls east over the plains, over-running warm moist air traveling north from the Gulf of Mexico. Most tornadoes move from southwest to northeast, but direction of travel may be erratic and suddenly change.
- The greatest numbers of tornadoes in Colorado occur between May and July.
- Conditions are present for a tornado.
- Keep a radio/TV tuned for further information, and gather emergency supplies.
- Tornado has been sighted or is imminent.
- Take shelter immediately.
- Go to the basement. If there is no basement, go to an interior hallway or small interior room, on the lowest floor, such as a bathroom or a closet,
- Avoid windows.
- Do not remain in a trailer or mobile home when high winds and strong gusts are present. Take cover in a sturdier building or in a ditch.
- If you are in a high-rise building, go to the most interior rooms or hallways.
- Stay out of structures with wide free-span roofs like auditoriums and gyms.
Outside or in a vehicle:
- Seek cover in a nearby building, or lie flat in a ditch or ravine.
- Avoid seeking shelter under an overpass or bridge.
- These areas are extremely dangerous when tornadoes are present.