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April second-most active month for tornadoes in Virginia

Severe weather becomes more common in April

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ROANOKE, Va. – It's getting warmer. The flowers are in bloom, the trees are getting greener and its nice to get outside once again. The warmer weather also brings something else, severe weather.

Severe weather, thunderstorms and tornadoes, can occur at any time during the day and at any time during the year. Climatelogically, however, April is one of the most active months for severe weather in Virginia.

As the surface warms up, the upper-levels of our atmopshere remain quite cold as snow in the northern U.S. and Canada keeps air masses very cold. Cold air above warm air generates instability to fuel thunderstorms. If theres enough of it, these storms could turn severe. One or more of these needs to be present for a storm to be considered severe.

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Virginia averages 3 tornadoes in April. It's not a lot when compared to states in the South or Plains, but they can be devastating. The only month that averages more tornadoes in Virginia is September, which sees nearly 4. This number slightly higher from the impacts of land-falling hurricanes. The stronger tornadoes would be observed in April. Last April, a tornado outbreak in Virginia spawned an EF-3 tornado that tore through Elon in Amherst County.

While there is no severe weather in the forecast, it's a great time to make sure you know what to do in times of severe weather.

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Download the Storm Team 10 weather app to track storms and get the latest alerts.


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