Everything’s bigger in Texas! The state’s motto refers to cowboy hats, barbecue, and tornadoes. You heard right, tornadoes! A little-known fact is that Texas has some of the most tornadoes in the country. In certain studies, it ties with Oklahoma for the title of “Twister State.” In this jaw-dropping turn of events, the Lone Star State has become a new tornado alley.
The Why and How
Meteorologists have recorded that since 1900-present, there have been 15 tornadoes ranging between F-3 and F-5 in Texas. Researchers claim that Texas is the perfect environment for tornadoes. In order to form, tornadoes require a mixture of warm, moist air and cold, dry air. Texas is situated next to the Gulf of Mexico and right below the Rocky Mountains. As a result, the warm, humid air from the Gulf blows into Texas while the chilled, dry air of the Rockies drifts down to meet it. The volatile rendezvous of these winds creates numerous tornadoes.
A striking statistic reveals that an average of 132 tornadoes touches down in Texas annually. Most of the sightings happen during late spring and early summer (March, April, May). The most devastating storms occur throughout the month of May. However, Texas is no stranger to the rare Christmas tornado. In December of 2009, 27 tornadoes hit the ground in one day. Woowee, a state record!
Tornadoes Live on in Legend
Texas is a land of myths and legends. It would be remiss of Texans to let their unfortunate tornado record dampen their lively spirits. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Texans rise beyond Mother Nature developing folklore that overcomes their deadly twisters. One of the most famous legends is about the cowboy who lassoed a tornado. In the myth, a cowboy rides into town and uses his rattlesnake lasso to capture the raging twister. This larger than life story could only have been imagined by a larger than life people who feel they can overcome anything.
In the end, tornadoes contribute to the overall myth and lore of Texas. The record number of appearances helps continue their BIG state reputation. In one, united voice Texans can cry out with certitude, everything’s bigger in Texas and that includes Mother Nature!