questionshave you personally seen a tornado?

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Once, near Chicago. Sounded like a train 2 feet from me, and I never want to be near one again. I think I'd rather go through another hurricane than a tornado.

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Nope. Saw some funnel clouds, but they didn't "mature" and touch the ground.

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January 21, 1999 Searcy, Arkansas. I saw a funnel cloud heading our way and ran into the house to call my sons who were both visiting friends. I slipped on the deck and fractured a vertebrae but was not able to go to the hospital for several hours because of the tornadoes. We had people in our storm shelter that day that I had never seen before (or after!), just people driving by who saw we had a concrete shelter and came in to hide from the storm.

Here is an article about it:

http://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2377

My sister lost a tree and her backyard fence today in the DFW storms but everyone is ok.

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Twice. Once in Michigan coming across a lake that I was camped next to and a second time in Indiana (jumped into a wet drainage ditch). VERY FRIGHTENING!

....but I tell the stories now like it was COOL!

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@ohcheri: I want to up-vote, but not make it look like I am happy for your misfortune.... dilemma.

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Plenty of funnel clouds. I have, however, been traveling and "just missed" it several times in my life. Lucky I guess.

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Once in college in West Palm Beach, FL, was in my dorm watching it move past through a field behind us, very scary. My roommate worked at a car dealership, surrounded by glass - called me from under the desk to warn me, the employees there watched it pass too. May have only been the funnel cloud but it was scary anyway.

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@morriea: My misfortune was minimal compared to many, we had neighbors who died. It's still a very surreal memory and definitely one of the deciding factors in my decision to come back to California.

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I grew up in the Plains States, so tornadoes and hailstorms were just something we lived with.

When I was seven years old my mother owned a Corvette. She was typically very chatty when we drove. We were coming back from the grocery store, and she was talking in her rapid-fire fashion.

She suddenly and completely went silent.

I flinched instinctively, since that usually meant I got caught doing something I shouldn't and was about to get "the business." However I noticed her eyes looking into the rear view mirror.

I looked back, and saw one large tornado coming down the street, with a smaller one at either side.

"Hold on," she said, and downshifted with authority. I have never been so grateful to hear the roar of a V8 engine in my life. The tornadoes got smaller and smaller, and we raced through town as the sirens screamed at people to take cover.

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Yes, in Ohio. When people say it sounds like a freight train it's true, only much louder. The damage was fairly minimal where I was, uprooted trees, a few dead livestock, shingles torn off roofs.
It wasn't frightening scary but more respectful scary, people in tornado prone areas are often lured into a sense of false security because of the warnings or watches that turn out to be nothing.

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Watched the ones go through Arlington today from the top floor of a campus building. Pretty cool, except for the damage and injuries, of course. Tornadoes are really beautiful.

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Yep, today bout 1:30pm. During the DFW outbreak while on way to pick up daughter from school for ortho appointment. I was between the first two super duper cells that was spinning the tornadoes, about 10 miles west of the one everyone saw on the news spinning trailers and trucks in the air. It was a small long "rope" tornado, cute as can be. All in all have seen about a dozen tornadoes, goes with living in the famed Tornado Alley.

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Yep, when I was a child, my grandmother lived in OK. We saw a bunch of small tornadoes while there on a visit once.

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Many years ago my family was renting a mobile home while looking for a house in a new town (we moved a LOT!). A neighbor knocked on the door to tell us about the "funny cloud" across a nearby field. One look and my Dad started yelling at us (and the neighbors) to take cover. Fortunately, it zigzagged across the field and headed away from us. ("Funny cloud" my a**!)

At the risk of offending anyone, I always think of a theory espoused by an old friend who believed that every town should be required to build several trailer parks around the outskirts to attract tornadoes away from the city. If you've ever been in a mobile home or camper when a tornado was nearby, you know just how fragile they seem.

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Once, many years ago, in Delaware of all places. Fortunately, it was some distance away and only touched down for a few seconds.

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January 4th, 2000. After the scare of Y2K subsided, we had an F3 tornado come through our state. Me and my dad were lucky at our house, as all it did was take the shingles off the roof and destroyed our fence. No real damage to us and nobody we knew got hurt or killed, so that's always great.

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Yep. I was living in South Dakota when we had what we call "Tornado Tuesday."
67 tornadoes hit our state.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_South_Dakota_tornado_outbreak

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I live about an hour and a half north of NYC where tornadoes are extremely rare. A few years back one hit the tiny town/village where I live (it was a very minor tornado but still did PLENTY of damage). Being a volunteer firefighter here, it was a very busy and long day.

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"If you've been on television more than five times describing what the tornado sounded like ... "

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I haven't seen a tornado, but i have seen one almost form. There was these clouds that were forming a cone that looked maliciously like a tornado. Fortunately, it stopped.

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I've seen a gustnado. It terrified me. Rural area. I was young, maybe 8-10, and playing on the back porch. It was getting ready to storm, so I was picking up my toys to put them on the enclosed patio, and I happened to look over at the neighbors house (I'm thinking maybe 500 feet away? There was a large field between us.), and out of nowhere, the fencing surrounding their pool flies up into the air, spiraling, carried all the way to the back of the property (I'd say another 700 yards or so). I ran screaming inside because I had no idea what had just happened. I remember the newspaper the next day talked about it on the front page.

I have no desire to ever see one in real life. My husband wants to go storm chasing and fantasizes about seeing one. I am pretty sure he's a lunatic.

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Seen, no.

But I was working at my desk a little after 5:30PM on Sept 16, 2010 when one went over the building next to the one I was in. (My office has no windows, so I saw nothing.) Our campus lost about 700 trees that day.

It continued north and did much damage to trees, power lines, cars and some buildings. The street one block south of where I live lost about 1/3 to 1/2 of the trees along a five or block section. About two blocks north, the damage was much much worse.

They really are loud. I'd say louder than a freight train by quite a bit.

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Oh, my, yes. I used to be stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas and lived in Manhattan, Kansas. The first week I was there, someone invited me to go out to the dam to watch tornadoes. I though he was joking (you know - Kansas, tornadoes, Wizard of Oz ...) but he wasn't. People used to take a picnic basket out to the dam during tornado season, and sit there watching tornadoes touch down on the water. Maybe student at KSU still do that, for all I know. Once had 17 (by the count of the weather service, I could only spot 4) at one time over the city, but not one touched the ground. Not unusual to have one visible while driving to or from work.

Now I only see one on rare occasions. Somehow, I don't miss them at all!

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One time when I stayed at a relative's house in Kansas, I woke up the next morning to find out that a tornado had passed less than 2 miles away. That was kind of a scary way to wake up. I knew it was windy out, but I didn't realize it was that windy.

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The little town I lived in in Michigan was smashed by one when I was in third grade. It was a miracle no one was killed. I spent most of the summers of my youth in Alabama where I had a number of brushes with tornadoes, including one that chased our Greyhound bus down the highway to the delight of us kids and the terror of my grandmother. The driver got to test the limits of that big bus. We repaired to the tornado shelter in the pasture a few times when we lived on the ranch outside Dallas, but it was really a precaution because we were a big family with lots of small kids and my mom figured better to get down there well in advance than to be running around herding kids at the last minute. No closes call there, though. Thank goodness, I'd have been scared to death for the horses. I remember it really upset me that they wouldn't fit in there with the eight of us and the dog and the cats.

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I'm in northern AL (so-called Dixie Alley), and we got hammered with them last April and got a few more last month. The worst thing around here is that they frequently come through at night, when nobody can see them, which makes them some of the most dangerous tornadoes in the US. Over the past couple of years I've seen three and each time I hope it'll be the last.

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I haven't ever seen one and I have lived in Oklahoma for almost all of my life.

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There were so many in Houston, but they would always be the rain-wrapped kind that you couldn't particularly pick out from the rest of the torrential downpour. The one time I was honestly scared by one- I was in the car with my dad when the sky turned green/yellow then started pouring. My dad was losing control of his crappy little escort and we pulled over and parked. The car kept dipping back and forth and we were pelted with leaves. A huge branch hit the side of the car and I turned white. When we were finally able to go, everything around us was in complete disarray. We were very very lucky.

When we moved up to Dallas, within the first month I remember we were sitting on the balcony and saw a funnel cloud drop maybe a mile away. I think it was the first tornado I was able to see completely. I turned to my mom and just remarked that I guess they followed us here.

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Saw a couple when I was at Ft. Sill, OK.

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I live near the Chesapeake Bay, north coast, and we don't get a lot of tornados, mostly just "dust devils".

Only two came through our neighborhood and worst one was in the evening--1998. Sounded like a very loud freight train or jet engine--in our living room. Before the storm, the sky was bright green, making an awesome sunset. Tornado bounced over the neighborhood, ripping parts of roofs off, and knocking down some very large trees. It pulled seed pods off some of our trees [hybrid poplar? sycamore?]. For two or three days after, itlooked like it was snowing with all the seeds floating around.

When I'm driving down the road and I see a tornado in the rearview mirror, do I turn left or right to avoid it?

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@b1suncat: I would say keep going straight then check every few seconds in your mirror.