GREENSBORO, N.C. — Spring 2019 has seen its share of volatile weather, including a dozen tornadoes. Interestingly, the majority of the strong twisters have touched down in the eastern part of the state.

The National Weather Service determined a tornado near Raleigh Monday, May 13 was the strength of an EF-2. It happened less than a month after the Good Friday tornado outbreak. The National Weather Service determined at least 10 tornadoes touched down that day, and the strongest was an EF-2 in Orange County.


Why do tornadoes in North Carolina seem to be more common in the eastern part of the state than the central or western regions?


  • Meteorologist Eric Chilton


Chilton explained the mountains in western NC usually disrupt the organization of a cold front, which brings bad weather. In some cases, that front does not have ample time to reorganize until it is east of the Triad.

Additionally, the eastern part of the state is a bit warmer than the Triad and western NC, and the coastal warmth adds instability to the region and creates ideal conditions for tornadoes to form.

Chilton explained the eastern part of the state has approximately a 25 percent greater chance for a tornado than the rest of the state. That said, tornadoes can and have touched down in all regions of NC, so it is important to be vigilant during this spring severe weather season.


Yes, it is true. Tornadoes are more common in eastern NC than other parts of the state.

RELATED: VERIFY: Are Tornadoes Most Common in Eastern NC?

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