Why nocturnal tornadoes are more dangerous

Tornadoes typically have the lowest death toll from natural disasters, but at night, tornadoes are far more deadly than they are by day.

Video Transcript


Tornadoes typically have the lowest death toll compared to other natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. But at night tornadoes are far more deadly than they are by day. A study from Northern Illinois University found that even though only 27% of tornadoes occur at night, most tornado related deaths happen between midnight and 6:00 AM.

Tornadoes are very hard to see at night usually only illuminated by lightning. Most people aren't at work, aren't talking to their friends, and aren't monitoring the weather. Many people disconnect from their devices at night as well, so they don't get the alerts.

To keep yourself safe, purchase a weather radio and keep it on at night. Weather radios connect to the nearest National Weather Service station, which broadcasts important weather updates around the clock. Leave your phone on at night or allow weather and emergency alerts to come through even on do not disturb mode.

Most smartphones are capable of receiving wireless emergency alerts from the National Weather Service. Keep your weather alerts on your AccuWeather app on too. You should know where to take shelter ahead of time so you can get to safety as quickly as possible and keep flashlights accessible. For more safety preparedness tips and tools, visit accuweather.com/ready.