RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Tornadoes happen across the world, but they are more common across the United States compared to any other country and that’s due to the perfect weather conditions that we have. A mixture of cooler air rolling over the Rockies mixed with warm and humid Gulf moisture creates the perfect conditions for severe weather.

The United States sees over a thousand tornadoes yearly. For Virginia, we see our share of severe weather to add to the yearly average.

Tornadoes are common in Virginia. We typically have multiple tornado warnings, reports and confirmed tornadoes.

Most of the time throughout Virginian history, we haven’t seen fatalities every year but there have been reports or confirmed tornados every year. During our quietest year, there have been 2 confirmed tornadoes and the most active year was 2004 with 94 confirmed tornados. Most confirmed tornadoes in Virginia have been on the weaker end of the spectrum such as EF-0’s or EF-1’s but also, most tornadoes in nature are typically on the weaker side.

The way tornadoes are confirmed is by the National Weather Service conducting a damage survey after the event is over so they can confirm the path, the strength and whether or not the funnel cloud touches the ground. After the survey is complete, the results of that specific storm or outbreak is released as public data.

Tornadoes are very dangerous and can occur in a multitude of ways, whether that be from a frontal boundary, a hurricane, a rogue supercell etc.

How does Virginia match up to other states in regards to yearly tornadoes?

Virginia always happens to fall on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to severe weather annually.

As you would expect Tornado Alley, which encompasses much of the Central U.S., is the most active with tornadic activity with the Deep South a close second.

Although Virginia isn’t one of the most active states for tornadic activity, it is important to note it still does happen on a yearly basis and should be taken just as seriously as if it were more active. Virginia averages around 18 tornadoes annually.

Virginia is more susceptible to heavy rain producing storms as average rainfall per year is a few inches under 50 inches a year.

Virginia is in the top 25 wettest states in the country. Wettest region of the states is the Deep South yet again, which matches up with the amount of severe weather they may see annually.

Tornadoes occur in near perfect conditions and are typically not only weak in nature but also have a short duration as well. This is why they can be so deadly because of how fast they can form, cause destruction and move onto the next location or spin back up into the sky.

In Virginia, the most active time frame is from April to September with the most active months for tornadic activity being April and September as you can probably understand why. Both months are transitional months where we’re transitioning from winter into Spring from Mid-March into April and transitioning from Summer to Fall in September so we have that perfect mixture of cooler and warmer air needed for tornadoes.