This we know. Tornadoes are some of the most destructive forces in nature. A single tornado is capable of flattening an entire neighborhood and taking many lives. These dangerous swirling columns of air can pack winds of up to 300 mph. Here are 10 tornado Facts you might not know.
- The 1925 Tri-State tornado is thought to be the deadliest in U.S. history. This storm’s path covered 219 miles, from southeastern Missouri though southern Illinois and Indiana. In three hours, it killed nearly 700 people.
- The widest tornado on record happened in May of 2013. The EF5 that struck the El Reno, Oklahoma area was 2.6 miles wide at its peak.
- The worst tornado outbreak took place on April 27, 2011. 207 tornadoes touched down across the Deep South, killing 319 people and injuring 2,839 more.
- Tornadoes can last from a few moments to several hours. Although it can seem to be an eternity, the average twister stays on the ground for 5 minutes.
- Tornadoes have touched down on every continent except Antarctica. An occurrence there is not impossible, but highly unlikely. The warm moist air required to form a tornado is not something the sun angle and normal cold temperatures will allow.
- Powerful tornadoes can develop in the northeastern United States. As we like to say: anytime, anywhere. This type of violent weather is not typical for this part of America, and certainly not Canada, but we have seen more of it in 2021.
- Severe tornadoes can occur in both Tornado and Dixie Alleys. This statement makes sense to those of us in North Texas and Oklahoma, but due to shifting weather patterns in recent years, the frequency of dangerous tornadoes developing in the Deep South is on the rise. This contradicts the traditional wisdom that Tornado Alley experiences the most tornadoes.
- Spring is the peak season for tornadoes. Historically, March marks the beginning of peak tornado season which extends through June. May is considered the worst month with an average of 276.
- Most tornadic activity takes place in the afternoon and evening. The National Severe Storms Laboratory states that tornadoes are most likely to develop between 4pm and 9pm. This week in Dallas, our magical hour was reported as 5pm.
- The U.S. experiences the highest number of tornadoes on Earth. Thanks to the Gulf of Mexico and prevailing winds, there is ample moisture moving across the country interacting with weather patterns that include ever changing winds, a perfect environment for violent weather to develop.
So far this year there have been close to 900 confirmed tornadoes in the United States. It looks like Mother Nature is nowhere near finished. Even now, we are waiting to see what the remnants of Hurricane Pamela have in store, and eyeing the development of multiple storms in the Atlantic. Have you seriously considered building a storm shelter? You should. Traditional weather patterns are changing, bringing a higher number of more violent storms. Contact a professional to advise you on the best options for your loved ones.
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