Blog: Night-time tornadoes are most frequent in the Mid-South

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Here in the Mid-South tornadoes occur all year around but tornadoes are most prevalent, right now, in the spring time. Currently, we are in the peak of tornado season with this month, April leading the way in producing the most tornadoes. April doesn’t only produce the most twisters but also the deadliest and the most intense tornadoes. There is a slight reduction in the number of tornadoes in May but it takes the second spot for tornado frequency.

The reason for the uptick in tornado frequency during the spring is the battle of the air-masses. Cooler air from the north moves south and meets up with warm, muggy, unstable air from the Gulf of Mexico.

On top of the frequency, the time of day tornadoes occur can play a big role in fatalities from tornadoes. Studies have shown that night-time tornadoes are two times more likely to be deadly and Tennessee produces the highest number of night-time tornadoes.

One out of every 20 tornadoes that happened at night resulted in a fatality, compared to approximately one in every 50 tornadoes that happened during the day.

There are many obvious reasons why night-time tornadoes are more deadly. Tornadoes, unless accompanied by frequent lightning, may not be visible at night.

Another obstacle is getting those in harms way to get to shelter immediately. Many will try to look or seek visual confirmation by looking outside, which can take away crucial time from getting to a safe place.

Ways to help you stay weather aware at night when you may be asleep:

Have several ways to get warnings

  • Check the weather during the day with the WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather team especially during the spring months & download the First Alert Weather app
    • NOAA weather radio. Available at retailers. The NOAA weather radio can alert you to warnings and alarms that can be adjusted to sound loudly when warnings are issued. 
  • Know where your safe place is & be ready to go there 

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