After a spring with a very high number of tornadoes across the South, and a scary wind storm with tornado warnings here on May 30, a lot of people have a renewed fear of tornadoes.  Like fear of flying, spiders, or snakes, a fear of tornadoes is based in a genuine danger.

However, in many people, this fear is heightened unrealistically during stormy weather.  This unrealistic fear turns tornadoes into a mysterious, almost evil force in our minds.  So maybe a little tornado reality will help.  First of all, tornadoes are nothing but wind and wind is nothing but moving air.  Any column of rising air, from a dust devil to a hurricane, rotates.  A tornado vortex is a secondary circulation caused by an irregularity in a larger circulation found in some strong thunderstorms called a mesocyclone.

Two-thirds of tornado deaths are caused by EF4 and EF5 tornadoes, which comprise just 2 per cent of all tornadoes. The vast majority of tornadoes do not kill people