Last weekend there were over 243 tornadoes that were documented in a three-day period reaching across 15 southern states. The biggest hit was North Carolina with 92 tornadoes reported in the state on Saturday night! At least 14 people were killed and 50 seriously injured in Bertie, N.C. alone. The South’s oldest historically black college, Shaw University, in Raleigh, N.C., was flattened and was forced to close before the school year could be completed.
Tornado season usually means the peak period for historical tornado reports in an area, when averaged over the history of reports. There is a general northward shift in “tornado season” in the U.S. from late winter through mid summer. The peak period for tornadoes in the southern plains, for example, is during May into early June. On the Gulf coast, it is earlier during the spring; in the northern plains and upper Midwest, it is June or July. Remember: tornadoes can happen any time of year if the conditions are right!
The NOAA website has fabulous data about tornadoes. One page in particular has wonderful information – pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about these powerful storms. Check out The Online Tornado FAQ site:
How many tornadoes have struck your area?
The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), which is part of NOAA has a very cool data base for everything you ever wanted to know. Search the NCDC Storm Event database to find various types of storms recorded in your county or use other selection criteria as desired.