Tornadoes Common Year-Round Along Coast
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 – Tornadoes most commonly form from large-scale storm systems that traverse the U.S. from west to east. Typically, severe thunderstorms will develop in the warm, moist air mass ahead of the storm system, and can produce tornadoes.
Tornadoes can result from isolated thunderstorms or as part of a large squall line that forms along a cold front. Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes need an unstable (warm, humid) air mass, cold air at mid-levels of the atmosphere, and strong wind shear (turning and strengthening of winds with height in the atmosphere) to develop.
Texas averages 137 tornadoes each year, the highest number of any state in the U.S. Tornadoes are most common during the spring and summer months nationwide, but due to our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico as a moisture source, tornadoes can occur in Southeast Texas any time of year. In fact, some of the worst tornado outbreaks on record in Southeast Texas have actually occurred in the late fall and winter months. Strong to violent tornadoes (those F2 or larger) are fairly uncommon in Southeast Texas, but they can occur.
What can you do to better prepare your home or business for tornadoes?
1. Develop a plan for your family or coworkers at your place of residence or business.
2. Do frequent tornado drills.
3. Know the county where you live. All National Weather Service warnings are issued by county.
4. Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up. It will automatically be activated when a warning is issued.