We all know that severe weather can affect anyone, anywhere, and anytime; but one of the most frequent questions to the weather department is: how often do severe storms hit, and where?
On a national scale we've all heard about the infamous tornado alley. It's the region extending from the Great Lakes, through the Midwest, and all the way down to Texas. Every spring this area serves as the battle ground between conflicting elements of nature: warm humid air from the Gulf and cold dry air from the North.
These battles can turn violent as warm air explodes upward at speeds over 100 mph. If the winds are just right, the storm may take on a spin, leading to Mother Nature's most violent localized display of power: the tornado.
Given the location of this tornado breeding ground, it's no wonder that the largest state in tornado alley reigns as the tornado king with an average of 139 twisters occurring every year.
Some of the worst storms in history have developed right over the Heart of Texas, from the deadly tornadoes of 1953 in Waco to the tornado outbreak in Jarrell in 1997.
But locally we've seen our share of twisters as well. Some 121 tornadoes have touched down in the Brazos Valley over the past 15 years.
While these statistics play a major role in the continued study of severe weather, it's worth nothing that they have no direct influence on day-to-day forecasting of storms.
Furthermore, the statistic that should stand out most is the rising number of people who continue to survive Mother Nature's fury thanks to better awareness and preparation.
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