The area from the central Mississippi Valley to the central Gulf of Mexico coast is the most common area for large, destructive tornadoes during the early part of the spring season. This area generally warms up the fastest in spring and has plenty of exposure from Gulf moisture, dry air aloft from the Southwest, and the clash of cold air at the surface to the north. The main tornado alley for the whole season lies farther west, generally encompassing the central and southern Plains.

The greatest loss of life that results from tornadoes is concentrated in most of the early season area. The reasons for this are many, including: population density, housing structures, and lack of storm shelters. Texas actually has the most deaths of any state, because it is the largest of the warm-weather states.

Story by Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.