Should West Central Florida residents expect to see tornadoes this summer as a result of strong thunderstorms and hurricanes? While we do not receive the same type of advance warning for tornadoes that we usually do for hurricanes, it is still possible to take steps to ensure that your home can withstand, as much as possible, the strong winds of a damaging tornado. And if we were to gain a better understanding of when tornadoes are likely to strike and the type of damage they might create, Florida homeowners could be even better prepared. That is one of the aims of Vortex SE, a project with $5 million in research backing that is designed to provide insight into “how environmental factors characteristic of the southeastern United States affect the formation, intensity, structure, and path of tornadoes in this region.”
In addition to learning more about tornado formation, Vortex SE researchers are also interested in developing better systems to inform the public of impending tornadoes and to analyze public response when dangerous tornadoes make landfall. What else should residents of West Central Florida know about Vortex SE and how it could help residents of Tampa, for instance, to better manage the threat of tornado damage?
Florida Has the Third-Highest Rate of Tornadoes on Average
Tornadoes are not typically associated with Florida in the same way that hurricanes are linked to the state. However, as a report in the Palm Beach Post clarifies, Florida actually “has the third highest number of tornadoes on average per year nationally.” Indeed, between 1985 and 2014, there were an average of 59 tornadoes in Florida per year, placing it third behind only Texas and Kansas, which are both part of “Tornado Alley.”
Given the frequency of tornadoes in Florida, and in West Central Florida in particular, the state’s weather patterns were of particular interest to those working on the Vortex SE project.
More Tornadoes in the Southeast are Deadly Compared with Tornadoes in Other Parts of the Country
A major impetus for the Vortex SE research is the fact that more tornadoes in the southeast result in serious and fatal bodily injuries when compared with tornadoes that make landfall in other parts of the country. To be sure, the Vortex SE project highlights how “the number of killer tornadoes in the southeastern U.S. is disproportionately large when compared to the overall number of tornadoes throughout the country.” What is the reason for this? Researchers have some educated guesses, which include the following:
● More nighttime tornadoes;
● Tornadoes occurring in rugged terrain;
● Tornadoes occurring prior to the perceived onset of tornado season;
● Lack of visibility when tornadoes make landfall;
● Inadequate shelter when tornado warnings are issued; and
● Larger population densities.
Part of Vortex SE’s role is to clarify why tornadoes are deadlier in the southeast and to help raise awareness among the public about the risks not only of property damage from tornadoes, but of serious bodily injury. While tornadoes do not tend to be as deadly in Florida, statistically, as in certain other states, these storms nonetheless produce devastating home and property damage.
Reach out to a West Central Florida Tornado Damage Lawyer
If you have questions about filing a tornado damage claim, you should speak with a West Central Florida tornado damage attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Valrico Law Group to learn more about seeking compensation for your losses.