Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air extending
from severe thunderstorms to the ground and are usually preceded by very
heavy rain and, possibly, hail. If hail occurs it is an indication that
the storm has large amounts of energy and may be severe. These thunderstorms
develop in warm, moist air in advance of eastward moving cold fronts.
In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in
80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries.
FUJITA TORNADO SCALE
||(40 - 72 mph)
||(73 - 112 mph)
||(113 - 157 mph)
||(158 - 206 mph)
||(207 - 260 mph)
||(261 - 318 mph)
Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year.
- Peak tornado occurrence in North Carolina is March through May.
- Tornadoes can occur at all hours of the day or night, but are most
likely to occur between 3 and 9 P.M.
- The average tornado path is 1 to 2 miles long and about 50 yds wide.
- The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but have been
known to move in any direction.