Severe Weather Facts
- In an average year, tornadoes cause 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries nationwide.
- Tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, but are found most frequently in the U.S.
- Tornadoes can produce winds in excess of 250 mph.
- Tornadoes can be more than a mile wide and stay on the ground for more than 50 miles.
- The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but they have been known to move in any direction.
- Waterspouts are tornadoes which form over warm water.
- Tornadoes can occur any time of the year.
- Twisters are most likely to occur between 3 and 9 p.m., but can happen at any time.
- Each spark of lightning can soar to 50,000 Degrees Fahrenheit.
- There are 1,800 thunderstorms in progress at any given time on Earth.
- Lightning has been known to strike 10 miles from the storm in an area of clear sky above.
- The longest bolt of lightning seen to date was 118 miles long. It was seen in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
- Lightning strikes 30 million points on the ground in a given year in the U.S.
- Lightning injures approximately 1000 people each year.
- Flooding causes more damage in the U.S. than any other severe weather related event-an average of $4.6 billion per year from 1984-2003.
- Flooding can occur in any of the 50 states or U.S. territories any time of the year.
- Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle-related.
- Most flash floods are caused by slow moving thunderstorms, thunderstorms that move repeatedly over the same area or heavy rains from tropical storms and hurricanes.
- Flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour out new channels.