So far this year, tornadoes have killed around 100 people nationwide, the highest in a decade. The National Weather Service says we are on pace for having the most tornados since 1950 because Tornado Alley is really living up to its name this year.
Death and destruction, it's become a familiar story across the country as Mother Nature continues her fury this tornado season. In just the last few days, officials say storms produced as many as 170 tornadoes, bringing the total on the year to more than a thousand.
"This is certainly an abnormal year, as far as, the development of tornadoes." Preliminary numbers show there have already been around 480 tornadoes in the month of May alone. That doubles what we saw the past two years, and just halfway into the year we've already seen the number of twisters 2007 and 2006 got the entire year.
"Basically, you've got a big trough over the western part of the United States, and you've got these little disturbances that follow the jet stream, the upper level trough and when that happens, you've got the moisture coming in from the Gulf of Mexico and basically that is where tornado alley is defined," said KLTV 7 Chief Meteorologist Mark Scirto. This year, it's a deadly tornado alley. So far, there have been 110 tornado related deaths. There were 81 in 2007, 67 in 2006 and just 38 in 2005. Meteorologists say there hasn't been a spring this deadly in a decade.
"Some of these people that have died in these large numbers, they are doing the right thing," said Scirto. "They are going to their basement, they are going to their tornado safe spot in their home, and we are still losing lives because of that, so its been a crazy year no question about it." A tornado season that's not over yet. For the southern part of tornado alley, like here in East Texas, the tornado season runs through June. Preliminary numbers show East Texas has seen around eight twisters so far this year.