Florida is a tornado hot spot, largely due to its proximity to tropical storms and hurricanes. Tornadoes are a natural consequence of these weather systems, and can occur anywhere in the state.
Although they can occur at any time of year, Florida’s tornado season usually peaks from February through early April. This is thanks to the El Nino-La Nina cycle.
Florida is home to some of the most active hurricane seasons in the country. Since the inception of the Saffir/Simpson scale in 1851, the state has seen at least one tropical cyclone landfall each year.
The tropics are responsible for the majority of these storms. In fact, Florida has been hit by more hurricanes than any other state since 1850.
During this time, Florida has sustained more than $123 billion in damage and lost at least 145 direct fatalities from tropical storms.
In addition to wind damage, a number of tropical storms have also caused significant flooding and severe weather, including tornadoes.
This week, storms are likely to develop across the state, with a small threat for a tornado. Several showers and thunderstorms are forecast to move into the Nature Coast, Tampa Bay, and Southwest Florida today through early Wednesday. Thunderstorms could produce heavy rain, damaging winds gusts, and lightning. Coastal areas may experience significant to extensive river flooding.
Strong winds are often a part of tornadoes. They can blow away mobile homes, push them off foundations or overturn them, and can cause power outages.
They also peel off roofs, damage chimneys and slam cars into buildings or other structures. Winds can also knock trees over, causing serious damage.
The most dangerous type of wind is a tornado. They can destroy entire buildings, kill people, and even rip apart vehicles.
Florida is home to a number of tornadoes. Most are short-lived and only a few can last for long periods of time.
Occasionally, very large tornadoes occur. These tend to be driven by a strong jet stream.
This is especially true during El Nino and La Nina conditions. In 1998 and 2007, a strong El Nino caused many tornado outbreaks in central Florida. It also triggered some of the deadliest tornadoes in the state's history.
Tornadoes are one of the most destructive storms that can affect people. They can cause severe damage to buildings and other structures, kill people and injure others.
Florida is not a part of the traditional tornado alley that consists of midwestern states, but it still gets its share of tornadoes. Over the last 15 years, Florida ranks fourth in the national average of tornadoes and ties for sixth in fatalities per square mile.
Stronger tornadoes are more likely to form during the spring season, from February through April. This is because the jet stream digs south into Florida and increases winds near the surface. It also triggers a thunderstorm to develop into a supercell or mesocyclone, which is what causes the most dangerous tornadoes.
Tornadoes are powerful, violent storms that can cause deadly damage and kill or injure thousands of people. They strike most often in the spring and summer, but can also occur during the fall and winter months.
They may occur at any time, but are most likely to strike between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
If you suspect a tornado is on the way, prepare an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. Listen to local radio and television weather forecasts and use your cell phone with a weather app to keep up with incoming storms.
If possible, evacuate your home or find a sturdy building to seek shelter in. The safest place for most people to shelter is an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor, away from windows.