Some counties were under tornado watches Friday, as severe weather rolled through Central Texas.
Thomas Pechal of Temple Fire and Rescue works in one of those county’s “We’re monitoring the National Weather Service, we are in contact with them, we're keeping an eye on the radar as well as the sky,” he said.
NWS issued tornado watches for Bell, Lampasas and Milam counties. Watches are usually issued before severe weather happens and people should be aware the conditions can change quickly. Warnings means severe weather is happening or about to happen. “We do have outdoor warning sirens that we activate to notify people who are outdoors that they need to take shelter,” Pechal said.
Most tornadoes happen fast and are short-lived, that’s why it’s very important to have a plan. “If everyone knows what to do in advanced, they're better prepared and less likely to make mistakes, and everyone can be safe through the event,” said Pechal.
If you're on the road, Pechal said get to a sturdy building, but if that’s not an option, “If you can get into a low lying ditch or ravine that can offer you some protection, but again you have to be aware of water and the other things that are going to be present with that thunderstorms that's going on,” he said.
Pechal said don't try to outrun a tornado “Tornadoes can be very unpredictable when the funnel cloud is moving as a rule you run the risk of being involved either in a traffic crash or the tornado can change direction and you can be in its path,” he said.
As always, it’s a good idea just to stay home during severe weather.
Some warning signs of tornadoes are…
- Dark greenish sky
- Large hail
- Large dark low lying cloud
- A loud roar, similar to a freight train