Autumn Tornadoes are Extremely Common
Of course Spring is known for its severe thunderstorms that can produce violent tornadoes. However, it’s not the only season known for tornadoes. Fall is considered the “second” tornado season.
“The second half of October, and especially November, can often be a second season for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms,” said tornado expert Dr. Greg Forbes. “In many ways, this is the counterpart to spring, when strong fronts and upper-air systems march across the United States. When enough warm, moist air accompanies these weather systems, the unstable conditions yield severe thunderstorms and sometimes tornadoes.”
People need not have a false sense of security about severe weather and tornadoes simply because the seasons change. It is extremely important to have a plan in place to keep you, your family, your coworkers, your city, etc. safe during an unpredictable storm. And Safe-T-Shelter Storm Shelters are the perfect solution for residential storm shelters, community storm shelters, and commercial storm shelters.
One benefit to the cooler temperatures is that installing community storm shelters or corporate tornado shelters is often a faster process due to less demand.
While most of the largest tornado outbreaks still occur in spring, fall has its share of storms as well. Dr. Forbes examined the storm statistics and found six of the largest 55 known tornado outbreaks occurred in October and November.
May is still the peak month for tornadoes. Up to 52 percent of September’s tornado outbreaks are due to land-falling tropical storms and hurricanes.
October and November’s tornadoes are caused by upper-level troughs (dips in the jet stream) and cold fronts affecting the South and sometimes the Midwest.
The map above shows how many tornadoes have been confirmed by the National Weather Service during the month of November from 1950-2014. Texas has the most, but when adjusted for total area, Mississippi has the most, followed closely by Louisiana and Alabama.
As the map suggests, second-season tornado outbreaks are most common in the Gulf Coast states, where temperature and humidity levels tend to be higher. They can sometimes spread north to the Ohio Valley and southern Great Lakes.
On rare occasions, weak tornadoes can form on the West Coast in November.
Greatest Second-Season Tornado Outbreak: Nov. 21-23, 1992 – 105 Tornadoes
States affected: 13 total, from Texas to the Carolinas.
26 people were killed and 638 were injured.
The outbreak caused $713 million in damage; the Houston area was hit especially hard.
It was rated a top-five worst tornado outbreak in any month since 1950 by Dr. Forbes.
White Plains, Georgia, was practically leveled by an F4 tornado on November 22, 1992.
This outbreak started the Saturday before Thanksgiving 1992 in Houston. An incredible seven tornadoes were spawned in the span of just two hours in the metro area, with three twisters on the ground at one particular time in Harris County. The strongest tornado, rated F4, destroyed more than 200 homes on Houston’s east side. This was the strongest tornado to hit the Houston metro since 1950.
Another EF4 tornado went on a 128-mile-long rampage through Mississippi overnight Saturday into Sunday morning, Nov. 22. The storm claimed 12 lives and damaged or destroyed more than 700 homes.
Fifteen tornadoes touched down in Indiana that Sunday, the largest November outbreak in state records. One tornado was an F4 in southeast Indiana and northern Kentucky. Not to be left out, other F4 tornadoes carved a swath through the far northwest suburbs of Atlanta, and also struck near White Plains and Lake Oconee, Georgia.
Finally, a pair of F3 tornadoes in North Carolina killed two and injured 59.
The message is clear, do not get complacent about tornadoes at any time. The vast majority of the US is at risk of tornadoes for the vast majority of the year. Have a plan in place and if you do not have a safe place to go, please contact Safe-T-Shelter to assist in your needs of a residential storm shelter, community storm shelter, or a commercial storm shelter / corporate storm shelter for your employees. With over 20 years experience and countless storm tested shelters, by choosing Safe-T-Shelter you can be confident and feel safe, no matter how strong the storm.