"It's already here!" -- Twister
Overnight in north Texas, a rash of tornadoes killed at least six people and injured many more. There could be another outbreak of twisters tonight as dry, cool air from the north slams into warm Gulf air over Texas. It's unfortunately a common occurrence for an area lovingly referred to as Tornado Alley, which runs from north Texas up through South Dakota and over into Iowa.
If you are wondering why we don't get tornados like they do, Eric Berger at Chron.com gave an excellent overview of how that works on his SciGuy blog. Simply put, they have tornados, we have hurricanes.
The advantage of a hurricane, no matter how deadly they are, is time. Tornados hit often with little or no warning. Weather forecasting has improved dramatically when it comes to tornados, but there still is just too much uncertainty when it comes to disturbed weather. With hurricanes, we not only know fairly well in advance if a tropical storm is going to threaten us, we know when the season starts and ends. People in Tornado Alley don't have such luck.
So, as hurricane season approaches (June 1), count your blessings that the worst you have to deal with is a massive wall of water with potentially 130 mph winds. It could be an F-3 tornado with winds nearly twice that. Yikes.
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