Spring is tornado season in the US and we while tornadoes can occur almost anywhere in the world, we have more of them than anyplace else. There are about 1,200 tornadoes here every year. So far, in 2006, there have been almost 500. Like all extreme weather patterns, including hurricanes and flooding, an increase in tornado activity can be an indication of global warming.

LiveScience.com reports that this is the fastest start for the tornado season since 1999. In 2005, fewer than 100 tornadoes had formed by April. In 2005, June was the busiest tornado month?we?ll have to see if that repeats this year.

Twisters strike most often along what has come to be known as Tornado Alley, which stretches from west Texas to North Dakota. Tornadoes form there when dry polar air from Canada comes into contact with warm moist tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico.

From The Wizard of Oz, we might think that Kansas gets the most tornadoes, but it’s actually Texas that gets hit most often, with over a hundred tornadoes every year. Most tornadoes travel to the northeast and occur between 4 and 6 p.m. Most of them last less than ten minutes on the ground?but that’s enough time for them to wreak major destruction.

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