For many years until the early 1980s, an intermediate type of tornado advisory known as a tornado alert was defined by the National Weather Service and issued by the agency's local forecast offices, indicating that tornado formation was imminent. In theory, tornado alerts covered situations such as visible rotation in clouds and certain other phenomena which are portents of funnel cloud formation. The National Weather Service's use of this advisory began to decline after 1974, although it was still listed on public information materials issued by various media outlets, local NWS offices and other entities for another decade or so.
Red Tornado's friendship with Firestorm deepens in Fury of Firestorm #4 (September 1982), when super-villain Killer Frost freezes New York City. Her hold on reality weak, Killer Storm demands to be queen of New York with movie star Curt Holland her consort. The JLA arrives to help, but Firestorm fights them off. Heading to the JLA satellite, Firestorm reveals his secret identities as teenager Ronnie Raymond and middle-aged physicist Martin Stein. While Stein works on a device to thaw the city, Red Tornado takes Ronnie to Hollywood and Holland rebuffs them; Firestorm later brings Holland to Killer Frost in New York. Holland is Red Tornado in disguise, the one member of the JLA immune to her freezing touch. Red Tornado uses a freezing unit hidden in his chest to immobilize Killer Frost, and they work together to thaw the city.
;Tornado GR4 In 1984, the UK Ministry of Defence began studies for a GR1 Mid-Life Update (MLU). The update to GR4 standard, approved in 1994, would improve capability in the medium-altitude role based on lessons learned from the GR1's performance in the 1991 Gulf War. British Aerospace (later BAE Systems) upgraded 142 Tornado GR1s to GR4 standard, beginning in 1996 and finished in 2003. 59 RAF aircraft are receiving the CUSP avionics package which integrates the Paveway IV bomb and installs a new secure communications module from Cassidian in Phase A, followed by the Tactical Information Exchange (TIE) datalink from General Dynamics in Phase B.
Operated by Germany and Italy, the ECR (Electric Combat / Reconnaissance) is a Tornado variant devoted to Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) missions. It was first delivered on 21 May 1990. The ECR has sensors to detect radar usage and is equipped with anti-radiation AGM-88 HARM missiles. The Luftwaffe's 35 ECRs were delivered new, while Italy received 16 converted IDSs. Italian Tornado ECRs differ from the Luftwaffe aircraft as they lack built-in reconnaissance capability and use RecceLite reconnaissance pods, also only Luftwaffe ECRs are equipped with RB199 Mk.105 engine, which has a slightly higher thrust rating. The German ECRs do not carry a cannon. The RAF uses the IDS version in the SEAD role instead of the ECR. It also modified several of its Tornado F.3s to undertake the mission.
;Tornado GR1A/GR4A The GR1A is the reconnaissance variant operated by the RAF and RSAF, fitted with the TIRRS (Tornado Infra-Red Reconnaissance System), replacing the cannon. The RAF ordered 30 GR1As, 14 as GR1 rebuilds and 16 as new-builds. When the Tornado GR1s were upgraded to become GR4s, GR1A aircraft were upgraded to GR4A standard. The switch from low-level operations to medium/high-level operations means that the internal TIRRS is no longer in use. As the GR4A's internal sensors are no longer essential, the RAF's Tactical Reconnaissance Wing operate both GR4A and GR4 aircraft.
In Justice League of America Vol. 1, #193 (August 1981), Aquaman discovers Morrow's hideout and is nearly killed when Morrow uses his alien sceptre. Morrow attempts to dissect Red Tornado to discover the outside influence, and releases Tornado Champion-Tornado Tyrant in the android shell. Tornado Tyrant defeats the JLA, except for Firestorm. Tornado Champion tells Firestorm about how he and his alter ego became fused with the Red Tornado android, and Firestorm replaces both sentient beings in the android body. Red Tornado awakens, and only Firestorm knows his true nature. His dual origin is not fully revealed until Morrow recaptures him to learn how he became sentient. When Morrow opens Red Tornado, Tornado Champion and Tornado Tyrant come out of the body; the Tyrant had never truly left the Champion. After a battle with the JLA, Red Tornado is reassembled by Firestorm; the Tyrant and the Champion are returned to the android with their memories erased.
Tornado drills are an important element in tornado preparedness. Like any other safety drills, they increase chances of correct response to a real tornado threat.
Most states in the midwestern and southern United States conduct a statewide tornado drill in late winter or early spring in preparation for the severe weather season. During these drills, the National Weather Service issues test tornado warnings, and local Emergency Alert Systems and/or NOAA Weather Radio (normally as a Required Weekly Test or Required Monthly Test; Live Tornado Warning Codes can only be used if a waiver from the FCC is granted since "Live Code Testing" is prohibited per regulations) are activated along with outdoor warning sirens. Schools and businesses may also conduct a tornado drill simultaneously.
Tornado warnings can also be intensified by added wording mentioning that the storm is life-threatening, that it is an extremely dangerous situation, that a large, violent and/or destructive tornado is on the ground or is capable of causing significant property damage.
The National Weather Service has the option of issuing a tornado emergency, a severe weather statement with unofficial, enhanced wording that is disseminated when a large, extremely violent tornado is about to impact a densely populated area. This category of weather statement is the highest and most urgent level relating to tornadoes, albeit an unofficial alert product. The first tornado emergency was declared on May 3, 1999, when an F5 tornado struck southern portions of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, causing major damage exceeding $1 billion. In some cases, such as an F3 tornado that struck the Indianapolis, Indiana metropolitan area on September 20, 2002, a tornado emergency has been declared within the initial issuance of the tornado warning. Not all confirmed tornadoes will be considered a "tornado emergency", and such statements are commonly declared when it is believed that the tornado is at a severity in which it would cause a significant threat to life and property.
In Justice League of America Vol. 1, #192 (July 1981), Red Tornado attacks his fellow league members without warning; after severely injuring several, he is destroyed. A second Red Tornado also attacks and is destroyed. The androids were duplicates created by T.O. Morrow, back after his disappearance in JLA #106, who uses a program to summon the real Red Tornado. Morrow developed a device to steal technology from the future, including a supercomputer which taught him how to build a "humaniztron" device to make Red Tornado sentient and capable of destroying the JSA. However, the computer does not predict that Red Tornado would become independent and Morrow is defeated. He flees to Earth-One, where the supercomputer predicts that he will "fade away" in 28 days if the Justice League is not destroyed. When the damaged Red Tornado also crosses dimensions and falls to earth near Morrow's hideout, he again tries unsuccessfully to program him to destroy the JLA.
The criteria which called for tornado alerts in the past now generally result in a tornado warning with clarifying verbiage specifying that the warning was issued because rotation was detected in one way or another, that a wall cloud has formed or a tornado has been spotted or detected. The preferred response to both the tornado alerts and warnings is to take shelter immediately, so distinguishing them could be seen as splitting hairs, especially since storm prediction methods have improved.
It is recommended that people in the path of a large and violent tornado, whether referenced in a tornado warning or a tornado emergency, seek shelter in a basement, cellar or safe room, as stronger tornadoes (particularly those significant enough to warrant the inclusion of a tornado emergency declaration within a tornado warning) pose a significant risk of major injury or death for people above ground level. Those who do not have below-ground shelter are still advised to take cover in a room in the center of the home on the lowest floor, and cover themselves with some type of thick padding (such as mattresses or blankets), to protect against falling debris in the event that the roof and ceiling collapse.
A tornado drill is a procedure of practicing to take cover in a specified location in the event that a tornado strikes an area. This is an important element of tornado preparedness.
The other Morrow remained on Earth. This version, which Morrow believed was a future version of himself (known as Future Man), was a mutation. He attempted to switch minds and take over Red Tornado's body. Red Tornado reversed the switch, and Future Man died of his mutations. After Future Man's death the original Morrow escaped from prison, consulted his supercomputer and learned how he had been split in two. With the computer's help, he attempted to determine what flaw had allowed Red Tornado to become independent and concluded that an outside force was responsible.
;Tornado GR1 RAF IDS (interdictor/strike) variants were initially designated the Tornado GR1 with later modified aircraft designated Tornado GR1A, Tornado GR1B, Tornado GR4 and Tornado GR4A. The first of 228 GR1s was delivered on 5 June 1979, and the type entered service in the early 1980s. A total of 142 aircraft were upgraded to GR4 standard from 1997 to 2003.
;Tornado GR1B The Tornado GR1B was a specialised anti-shipping variant of the GR1. A total of 26 were converted, which were based at RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland, replacing the Blackburn Buccaneer. Each aircraft was equipped to carry up to four Sea Eagle anti-ship missiles. At first the GR1B lacked the radar capability to track shipping, instead relying on the missile's seeker for target acquisition, later updates allowed target data to be fed from aircraft to missile.
The Tornado ADV (air defence variant) was an interceptor variant of the Tornado, developed for the RAF (designated Tornado F2 or F3) and also operated by Saudi Arabia and Italy. The ADV had inferior agility to fighters like the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, but it was not intended as a dogfighter, but rather it was a long-endurance interceptor to counter the threat from Cold War bombers. Although the ADV had 80% parts commonality with the Tornado IDS, the ADV had greater acceleration, improved RB199 Mk.104 engines, a stretched body, greater fuel capacity, the AI.24 Foxhunter radar, and software changes. It had only one cannon to accommodate a retractable inflight refuelling probe.
In some jurisdictions, schools are required to conduct regular tornado drills, though generally less frequently than fire drills.
At 4:00 p.m., a tornado of approximately F4 intensity cut through the heart of Sauk Rapids. It was one of at least four tornadoes that affected the region between 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. that day. It had a maximum width of 1/2 mile (0.8 km) and covered an area of 14 miles (22 km). As the storm moved across the Mississippi River, it temporarily sucked the river dry. Some of the structures the tornado destroyed included an iron truss bridge spanning the Mississippi River, the post office, the courthouse, a flour mill, a school, and two churches. Fifteen rail cars were demolished, and iron rails from the train track were pulled up and mangled. After it passed through Sauk Rapids it moved on to Rice, where it killed 11 people in a wedding party when the home they were occupying was destroyed. In all, 72 people were killed by the twister, including 38 in Sauk Rapids and 20 in St. Cloud. Over 200 more were injured.