Records and Events
- 1,800 thunderstorms are occurring at any moment around the world, which
equals to 16 million thunderstorms annually
- Of the estimated 100,000 thunderstorms that occur each year in the United
States, about 10 % are classified as severe.
A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail greater than 3/4
inch in diameter, winds are higher than 58 mph, or contains a tornado.
- On April 10, 1979 Wichita Falls, Texas encountered the most damaging
tornado in U.S. history. During the event, as many as 5 additional vortices
swirled around the main tornado. 16 of the 25 vehicle-related deaths were
citizens that were originally in a building, but got into their cars to
evade the tornado. 3,000 homes and 1,000 apartment units were completely
destroyed. Approximately 20,000 residents, or 10-20% of the population of
Wichita Falls became homeless due to the extensive property damage.
|Fujita scale F0 and F1
||Fujita scale F2 and F3
||Fujita scale F4 and F5
|88% of all tornadoes
||11% of all tornadoes
||Less than 1% of all tornadoes
|Less than 5% of tornado deaths
||Nearly 30% of tornado deaths
||70% of all tornado deaths
|Lifetime 1-10+ minutes
||May last 20 minutes or longer
||Lifetime can exceed 1 hour
|Winds less than 100 mph
||Winds from 110 - 205 mph
||Winds greater than 205
- The energy from one lightning flash can light a 100-watt light bulb for
more than 90 days.
- The most lighting-prone area in the United States is Pasco County, just
east of Tampa Bay, Florida. Each square mile in this county receives more
than 40 flashes of lightning per year.
- Lighting strikes the earth around 600 times each minute.
- The city that encounters the most tropical storms and hurricanes in the
United States is is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. This city averages an
encounter with a tropical storm or hurricane approximately every 2 1/2
- NOAA experimented with attempting to weaken hurricanes by dropping silver
iodide into the clouds of four hurricanes during 1961-1973. The experiments
were deemed to be inconclusive and were discontinued. Preceding the 2008
Beijing Olympics, the Chinese fired artillery rockets into the air
containing silver iodide, in an attempt to produce rain before the Olympics and
make for a rain-free Opening Ceremony.
- From January 18-27, 1980 Tropical Cyclone Hyacinthe dropped 223.5 inches
of rain, or almost 19 feet at Commerson, La Reunion Island located in the
Indian Ocean. In comparison, the wettest place in the United States is Hilo,
Hawaii which experiences 128.0 inches of rain per