Tornado Preparedness Week 2013
Monday - October 28, 2013 - Nighttime Tornadoes
While statistics show the majority of tornadoes occur during the afternoon (around peak heating) across the United States, that is not always the case for us in the South and especially across Mississippi. Certain seasons tend to favor when tornadoes are most likely to occur, illustrated by the front page graph showing the two peaks in tornado activity. You can see from the image below that weaker tornadoes (EF0 to EF1) do mostly occur during daylight hours. However, the strong to violent (EF2 to EF5) tornadoes are nearly equal when it comes to day vs night occurrences.
If we investigate further and look at data over the last 20 years and view it by month, we can see that tornadoes that occur in November strongly favor nighttime occurrence. This nighttime trend continues, although not as strong, for Dec-Jan with the trend switching to more daytime occurrence by February which lasts through the remainder of the year. These tornado occurrences at night show a vulnerability to the population. Tornadoes during this time tornadoes are hard to see/confirm making people less aware and more likely to not act or take cover when threatened.