Ask Storm Team 11: Why does it seem tornadoes happen after dark?


Monday’s Ask Storm Team 11 Question: Why does it seem in this area tornado warnings and watches always happen after dark?

Tornadoes can happen at any time. The notorious April 27, 2011 outbreak spawned 13 tornadoes from Cocke County, TN to Washington County, Virginia and tornadoes happened between 8 p.m. and midnight. 

According to the tornado database from Mississippi State and the National Weather Service, roughly 80 percent of all tornadoes in our area occur in the afternoon or evening, between noon and midnight. The afternoon and early evening hours are the warmest parts of the day. That warm air is one of necessities for thunderstorms to form and the strongest can produce tornadoes. 

Thanks to Jennifer Martin for the question!

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