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Tornadoes

tornadoSevere storms, such as thunderstorms and hurricanes, can produce concentrated windstorms called tornadoes. Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air created where warm, moist air intersects with cold, dry air. Tornadoes have a much more localized impact than a hurricane or nor’easter and have been known to destroy one building while leaving a nearby building virtually unharmed.

Tornadoes can produce a path of destruction from 0.01 mile wide to greater than 1 mile wide but generally tornadoes are less than 0.6 mile in width. In terms of length, paths of destruction vary from a few hundred feet to several miles in length. The duration of a tornado is typically less than 30 minutes.

The destruction caused by tornadoes may range from light to severe depending on the intensity of the storm and the travel path. Typically, tornadoes cause the greatest damages to structures of light construction, such as residential homes. The Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF-Scale) is used to rate a tornado’s strength.

Although tornadoes can occur at any time of the year in Forsyth County, tornadoes are most likely to occur during the spring and early summer months of March through June. Tornadoes, during these months, tend to be the strongest, resulting in the greatest amount of physical harm and property damage. Tornadoes can occur at any time of day but are mostly likely to form between the hours of 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The most recent storm involving a tornado in Forsyth County occurred on May 8, 2008.  Be prepared for these storms!

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