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 Photo of tornado circa 1942 Courtesy of NOAA
Florida and Tornadoes
A tornado is defined as a violently thunderstorm to the ground. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in about 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries. 

Florida is #1 in the number of tornadoes per square mile. Most are weak; however, strong ones do occur. The Tampa Bay area averages 23 tornadoes within a 125 mile radius. In hurricanes, tornadoes are most likely to occur in the right front quadrant, but they can also occur in the rain bands, well away from the center of the hurricane.

When associated with hurricanes, tornadoes are not usually accompanied by hail or a lot of lightning.