Tornado season in Texas; what you need to know when severe weather strikes.

Updated: Apr 6


By SARA VANDEN BERGE

Tornado season in Texas can be frightening.

The Lone Star State is hit with an average of 132 tornadoes each year with about 25 of those happening in North Texas.

In 2019, North Texans experienced an unsettling severe weather pattern when 52 twisters were recorded.

Erath County is no stranger to severe weather either.

An EF1 tornado tore through the area in 2016, leaving behind a large swath of damage but, thankfully, no injuries

As the threat of tornado season looms, I spoke with Stephenville City Manager Allen Barnes about designated safe places where residents can take shelter when severe weather strikes.

The Stephenville Public Library is the city’s primary tornado shelter.

“The library will open first, then Henderson Junior High and Gilbert Intermediate,” Barnes told Beneath the Surface News.

If seeking shelter away from your home or work is not an option, residents should follow these tips.

“Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls,” Stephenville Fire Marshal Gregg Schrumpf said. “Try taking cover in a bathroom or inside room without windows.”

He also said covering yourself with a mattress while lying in a bathtub will protect you from falling debris.

Residents should also sign up to receive Nixle alerts on their phones by going to the city’s website at stephenvilletx.gov or texting 76401 to 888777.

“If Stephenville is under the threat of any kind of severe weather, Nixle will issue an alert and those alerts can be shared with friends and family,” Schrumpf said.

The city’s storm sirens will also alert people who are outdoors when the threat of severe weather strikes.

“The sirens are not made to be heard when people are inside their homes watching TV. They will not hear it,” Schrumpf said. “That’s why it’s so important to sign up for the alerts.”

OTHER SEASONAL FACTS

• Tornadoes in Texas happen most between 4-8 p.m.

• Texas tornadoes occur most frequently in the Red River Valley from April through August, according to the Texas Almanac.

• The highest number of recorded tornadoes happens in May.

• One of deadliest tornadoes in Texas occurred in 1953 in Waco with 114 fatalities and 597 injuries.