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Name: Thomas
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Question:
What time of day do tornadoes usually occur in?


Replies:
Thomas,

I can't say it much better than Wikipedia at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado:

"Tornado occurrence is highly dependent on the time of day, because of solar heating.[53] Worldwide, most tornadoes occur in the late afternoon, between 3 pm and 7 pm local time, with a peak near 5 pm.[54][55][56][57][58] However, destructive tornadoes can occur at any time of day. The Gainesville Tornado of 1936, one of the deadliest tornadoes in history, occurred at 8:30 am local time.[10]"

The numbers in brackets refer to references on the Wikipedia page.

The later in the afternoon, the more convective activity (warm air rising from the Earth's surface) can occur from solar heating of the ground, resulting in more frequent, larger, and intense thunderstorms that can potentially result in more frequent and intense tornadoes.

A good web page for looking at tornado statistics, particularly by state is

http://www.disastercenter.com/tornado.htm

David R. Cook
Meteorologist
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory


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