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Severe Weather Preparedness: An added danger comes with tornadoes at night

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Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 18:44:50-04

Tornadoes can be destructive any time of day, but there’s an added danger when tornadoes occur at night. It’s much more difficult to see a tornado coming in the dark. When a tornado hit Nashville, Tennessee around midnight on March 3rd, 2020, it was only visible by power flashes.

Another added danger from nighttime tornadoes is that many of us are sleeping and likely unaware of an approaching threat.

According to the National Weather Service, the majority of tornadoes that hit Indiana happen in the afternoon and evening hours - between 3 pm and 8 pm. But there is a secondary peak to be aware of between midnight and 3 am.

A Northern Illinois University study found that between 1950 and 2005 nearly 33% of tornadoes that impacted Indiana happened at night. That study also found that nighttime tornadoes in the US are nearly twice as likely to result in fatalities than tornadoes that happen during the day.

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It’s important to have a device like a weather radio or the free storm shield app. Both will alert you day or night when a severe weather watch or warning is issued for your location.

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