When is tornado season in Texas in 2022?

Tornado season in Texas falls during the April, May, and June months, though it’s not unheard of to see twisters make landfall throughout the entire year.

Jennifer Gimbel

By

Jennifer Gimbel

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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Texas is the most tornado-prone state in the U.S., averaging roughly 136 twisters each year. And this year, the Longhorn State is already breaking records for intense tornadic activity. We saw the most March tornadoes on record in 2022, with many of those pummeling Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and other areas of eastern Texas. [1]   

But when exactly is tornado season in Texas? And how can you make sure you’re prepared? We break down everything you need to know about tornadoes and home insurance in Texas.

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When is tornado season in Texas?

Tornado season in Texas runs April through June each year — these months see cold winter air give way to summer heat, forming a collision of warm and cool air masses that turn into twisters. While Texans can see tornadoes 12 months of the year, they should be especially prepared toward the end of spring and beginning of summer.

Where do tornadoes hit the most in Texas?

Houston experiences the most tornadoes of any other city in Texas, ringing in at 242 in total from 1950 to 2021, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). [2] The runner up is Plainview, Texas, which saw 132 tornadoes during that same time period.

When adjusted for area, Galveston County in East Texas along the Gulf of Mexico sees the most tornadoes of any other area in the Lone Star State. It saw around 33 tornadoes per 100 square miles between 1950 and 2021. [3]

This is followed by Johnson County (located just south of Fort Worth, Texas) and Harris County (home to Houston, Texas), which both saw an average of 14 tornadoes per 100 square miles between 1950 and 2021.  

Tornadoes in Texas over the last 25 years

Since 1996, Texas has averaged 136 tornadoes each year, according to data from the NOAA. [4]

Here’s a breakdown of how many twisters touched down in the Lone Star State over the last 25 years.

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Average number of tornadoes by month in Texas

The month of May sees the most tornadoes in Texas, followed by April then June. The months of February, July, August, and December see the least amount of tornadoes.

Here’s the average number of tornadoes per month in Texas between 1989 and 2013, according to the NOAA. [5]

Does home insurance in Texas cover tornado damage?

Homeowners insurance in Texas covers damage caused by tornadoes, including the wind, hail, and rain that accompany them. However, water damage from flooding that occurs during a tornado would not be covered under your standard home insurance policy — you’ll need separate flood insurance for that.

The one exception is if you live in an area at high risk for wind damage — your home insurance policy might exclude damage from wind and hail. In this case, you’ll need to purchase a separate wind-only insurance policy to fill that coverage gap. Texas windstorm policies are available to homeowners through private insurers or the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). 

Texas has a separate windstorm deductible for tornado damage

If your home is damaged in a tornado in Texas, your windstorm deductible will be triggered. This is separate from your standard homeowners insurance deductible and applies to wind and hail damage from any type of windstorm — it doesn’t have to be a named storm or hurricane in Texas.

Windstorm deductibles in Texas are either a flat dollar amount, like $2,500, or a percentage of your policy’s dwelling coverage limit — usually between 1% and 5%. You can choose your deductible when you purchase your home insurance or windstorm insurance policy. A higher deductible leads to lower insurance rates, and vice versa.

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How to prepare for tornado season in Texas

From installing storm-proof shutters on your windows to knowing where to take shelter should a disaster strike, here are a few ways to prepare for tornado season in Texas.

1. Get your home ready for severe weather

This includes trimming tree limbs that hang close to your roof, removing dead trees from your yard, cleaning up any heavy debris (i.e. branches, bricks, firewood) on your property, and moving lawn furniture inside when a twister nears. If you live in an area especially prone to tornadoes, consider installing storm-proof shutters on your windows and garage door or upgrading to a Class 4 impact-resistant roof — both of which can earn you serious discounts on your home insurance rate

2. Make an emergency kit

FEMA recommends packing a few bags with essentials you can easily grab as you take shelter when a tornado nears. [6] Some items to include in your emergency kit include: water, non-perishable foods and baby formula, a can opener, moist towelettes and trash bags, batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, portable cell phone chargers, a battery-powered radio, and a whistle to signal for help.

3. Find a place to take shelter

While no place will keep you completely safe during a tornado, hunkering down in a basement or inside a windowless room on the lowest floor of your home is your safest bet. For even more protection, take shelter under something sturdy like a heavy table or workbench, cover yourself with a blanket or mattress, and protect your head from flying debris. 

4. Know the signs of a tornado

If you live in an area of Texas at high risk for tornadoes, knowing what to look for during a severe weather system can help you stay prepared. Be on the lookout for rotating, funnel-shaped clouds, low-lying clouds of debris, large hail, a dark or green-colored sky, and a loud roar that sounds like a freight train — all of these could forewarn a tornado is near.

5. Sign up for your community’s warning system

Anyone can sign up for severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service via text, email, or phone. In addition, your specific community likely has their own emergency alert system you can sign up for to receive weather alerts (here’s where to sign up if you live in or around Austin, Fort Worth, or Houston). A quick google search “CITY + emergency notification alerts” can help you sign up for notifications in your area. 

Many cities throughout Texas also have outdoor warning siren systems to warn residents to take shelter indoors during extreme weather conditions, including tornadoes. These outdoor sirens are most prevalent in North Texas where tornadoes are the most prevalent.

6. Stay up to date on changing weather conditions

On top of signing up for your community’s weather alerts and keeping your ears to the ground for any outdoor warning sirens, staying up to date on changing weather conditions via your local news and radio stations or even through social media can help you know when a tornado is near.

Frequently asked questions

What month has the most tornadoes in Texas?

The month of May sees the most tornadoes in Texas, followed by April then June. This is because the warm, humid spring air and cold winter jet stream creates the perfect mix of weather patterns that twisters thrive in.

Where in Texas is Tornado Alley?

Tornado Alley typically refers to the region in the United States where tornadoes occur most frequently, which includes West and North Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and parts of Colorado and New Mexico.

However, climatologists have since seen a shift in tornadoes to the Southeast and identified what they call the new Tornado Alley that consists of Eastern Texas and Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and parts of Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.

When does tornado season start in Texas?

Tornado season typically starts in April in Texas, although that’s not to say you won’t see tornadoes throughout the entire year.

When does tornado season end in Texas?

Tornado season typically ends in June in Texas, though you’ll likely continue to see twisters pop up throughout the rest of the year if the weather conditions align just right.

What part of Texas has no tornadoes?

While no part of Texas is immune from tornadoes, areas of far West Texas, El Paso, and Central Texas see the lowest occurrence of tornadoes in the state.

What states have the most tornadoes?

The top five states that see the most tornadoes each year — in order — include Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Mississippi.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

editorial standards.
  1. The Washington Post

    . "

    2022 generated most March tornadoes on record in U.S.

    ." Accessed May 19, 2022.

  2. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    . "

    Storm Events Database

    ." Accessed May 20, 2022.

  3. KXAN News

    . "

    When and where are tornadoes most common in Texas?

    ." Accessed May 20, 2022.

  4. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    . "

    25-Year Average Number of Tornadoes per State by Month (All tornadoes, 1989-2013)

    ." Accessed May 20, 2022.

  5. Ready.gov

    . "

    Disasters and emergencies: Build a kit

    ." Accessed May 20, 2022.

Author

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

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Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

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