The weather could hardly be better for Nevada Day and Halloween Saturday, with sunny skies and near record high temperatures expected. Once Sunday arrives, a strong cold front will drop down out of the northwest, bringing a dramatic change to our weather once November begins. On Sunday, winds could gust in excess of 40 mph, and rain is likely in the mountains and could make its way into the valleys, although the rain shadow effect will be in full force and could limit the valley rain totals. The cold air coming in behind the front will drop snow levels to near the valley floor Monday… and likely to the valleys by midweek, although showers by then will be limited. Highs will drop from the mid-70s Saturday to the upper-60s Sunday and will then fall to the low-50s to upper-40s through mid-week.

Tornado1

I got this question: “I grew up in Tornado Alley, and I was always told that if a tornado is approaching, I should go and open the windows to the house to keep the house from exploding if the tornado hit. But then I heard you say that you shouldn’t do that. What gives?”

What gives? Maybe your house (with you in it if you stick around too long.)  In any situation involving a tornado, the last place you want to be is around any windows if the twister hits, so head for cover. Especially since opening the windows won’t help save your house, and it could actually hurt its chances.

tornado damage

The time honored theory that houses explode because of the extreme low pressure inside a tornado has fallen out of favor. If a house explodes, you would expect to find all four walls blown outward, but researchers discovered that only three walls blew outward, and the windward wall blew inward. What this showed is it wasn’t an explosion, but just good old fashioned wind that was knocking them over, which isn’t hard to believe, since some tornadoes pack winds in excess of 200 miles per hour.

But what harm could opening a few windows do, you ask? Well, there is another phenomenon which also may come into play, called the Bernoulli Effect- that’s the same thing that causes an airplane wing to fly. Next time, I’ll tell you how that can “raise the roof” and how open windows will only make it worse.

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