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Meteorologist shares tornado tips

KSLA Chief Meteorologist Jeff Castle talks to students and the public at Northwest Louisiana Technical College Thursday.

Students of Northwest Louisiana Technical College and the general public received a lesson in tornado safety Thursday. Jeff Castle, Chief Meteorologist with KSLA television in Shreveport gave a presentation on the deadly storms.

“We are headed into our primary tornado season, with April being a very active month,” Castle said.

Castle said the Ark-La-Tex also has secondary tornado season during the months of November and December.

April is the month we are most likely to see a tornado, but they can happen at any time during the year,” Castle said. “Changing of season is the most favorable time for tornadoes.”

Tornadoes are measured on the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF), Castle said. An EF-0 is the lowest category or a minor tornado with winds 65-85 mph, while an EF-5 is the highest category or a major tornado with winds 200-plus mph.

“Think low and think small,” Castle said concerning tornado safety. “Seek shelter at the lowest level of the house, in the smallest interior room(s).”

Mobile homes and vehicles are not safe when a tornado hits, Castle said.

Technology has helped give more warning than ever of an approaching tornado or severe storm,” Castle said.

Know the difference in a watch and a warning is key to remaining safe. “Severe weather watches mean conditions are favorable for severe weather,” Castle said. “Severe weather warnings mean that severe weather is imminent.”