Weather Facts: Winter Tornadoes

Weather Facts: Winter Tornadoes

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Tornado season has arrived early this year.

The peak time for tornadoes is usually from April to June. But this year we are getting a jump start to the tornado season.

Earlier in January, for the first time in years a tornado hit Travis County. It ended up being an EF 1 that lasted for about a mile. That was one of 97 tornado reports in January followed by 33 in February.

Then on March 2 we had a massive tornado outbreak east of the Mississippi River. In all, 128 tornadoes popped up that day. This put us way over the average for tornado reports this early in the year.

Not only is the high tornado frequency been unusual but also the strength of the tornadoes.

Normally in the winter, the twisters are weak but lately we have seen numerous EF 3 and EF 4 tornadoes. Forty-nine people have lost their lives because of tornadoes and we are on pace to match last year's death toll of 552.

The lack of winter weather across the south is helping to fuel these tornadic storms. The cold fronts have been weaker this year so the gulf is running a few degrees warmer than average.

As the storm systems roll across the country and pick up the spring-like air mass across the south, there is so much energy and moisture available the storms just explode and have a better chance dropping tornadoes.

If you have a weather question email me at weather@fox7.com

 

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