NWS reviews amateur video, rules no tornadoes in Amarillo - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

NWS reviews amateur video, rules no tornadoes in Amarillo

AMARILLO - Hundreds of people called the NewsChannel 10 newsroom Tuesday night wanting to know where tornadoes had touched down, and exactly when and where they should take shelter.

But the National Weather Service says the question of whether a tornado is on the ground or not is irrelevant during a tornado warning, because everyone in the area should be taking shelter regardless.

Social media is now a huge part of breaking news and severe weather, and the NWS believes it can be dangerous as often as it is beneficial in the wake of a storm.

"The downside of social media and Twitter is, you get all these reports, and sometimes they're false reports," NWS Meteorologist Jose Garcia said.

Meteorologists have found no evidence of a tornado touching down in Amarillo, but there are dozens of videos on social media labeled as just that.

The NWS has seen them all. They're looking for clips that show rotation and lifted debris that would indicate a tornado, but so far none have fit the description

"The very short clips that we've seen do not seem to indicate that," Garcia said.

Even though there were not any tornadoes on the ground in Amarillo Tuesday night, the NWS says there very likely could have been. Garcia says the ingredients from Tuesday's storm in the panhandle were very similar to the storm that produced the EF 5 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

"The threat was there and that needed to be communicated and people needed to take action,
 Garcia said. "It can really go from having absolutely nothing to have a massive tornado in just a few seconds."

If you haven't prepared an emergency kit for your family, now is a good time to do so, including an alternate way to get information if the electricity goes out on a radio or smart phone.

Some of the ways to keep informed are downloading the Red Cross tornado app, the NOAA Weather Radio app, and signing up for alerts from Nixle, and Resolve to be Ready.

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