WITH OVER 1,200 tornadoes a year, the United States gets more of these natural disasters annually than most other countries.
While there is typically a time of the year known as tornado season, they can occur during any month depending on weather conditions.
When is tornado season?
Tornado season refers to the time of the year when the US sees the most tornadoes.
According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, tornado season hits around early spring near the Gulf Coast.
For the southern plains – Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas – tornado season peaks around May and June.
In the northern Plains and upper Midwest – including North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and their surrounding areas – tornado season falls around June and July.
Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year, however.
On December 10, 2021, a category five tornado hit Kentucky, likely killing upwards of 50 people and trapping hundreds more.
Andy Beshear, the Governor of Kentucky, declared a state of emergency following the onset of the natural disaster, adding that he believes closer to 70 or 100 lives may have been lost.
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What is Tornado Valley?
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski, "Tornado Alley is an area of the US where there is a high potential for tornado development."
"This area encompasses much of northern Texas northward through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and parts of Louisiana, Iowa, Nebraska and eastern Colorado," he noted.
This region is most likely to experience tornadoes due to the contrasting air masses which frequently collide, producing strong thunderstorms that can lead to tornado development.
What is the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning?
While similar in nature, tornado watches and warnings have different levels of severity.
Read our tornado warning live blog for the very latest news and updates…
A tornado watch is typically issued hours in advance of an actual tornado. It means that weather conditions are favorable for a tornado to form, but one hasn't been spotted yet.
Meanwhile, a tornado warning is issued by local NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office meteorologists in an area where a tornado has been spotted.
While watches can cover multiple states or larger areas, a warning is issued for a smaller area of land.
What is a tornado?
Tornadoes are narrow funnels of wind that form from a thunderstorm and touch the ground.
They are known to be incredibly violent rotating columns of air, and can be especially dangerous due to the lack of visibility of wind.
How many tornadoes have been reported in 2021?
Over one thousand tornadoes have been reported in 2021, with some causing more severe damage than others.
The peak of tornadoes in 2021 hit around June, with storms continuing throughout the remainder of the year.
Other countries such as China, Russa, and Italy have also reported tornadoes in 2021.
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