According to the University of Alabama-Huntsville, as many as 344 tornadoes touched down within 75 miles of the ARMOR research radar located at the Huntsville International Airport.
Using data obtained from the Storm Prediction Center, UAH plotted the individual tracks of each tornado that occurred between April 2005 and December 2016.
The majority of the Valley’s tornadoes fall within the “weak” category, which includes EF0 and EF1 tornadoes. During that time period, as many as 269 EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes — about 78 percent of the total amount — impacted the region. Although considered “weak” in category, EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes can still produce considerable damage to trees, buildings and powerlines, since they generate wind speeds as high as 65 to 85 miles per hour.
In addition, 62 strong tornadoes (18 percent of the total amount) impacted the region during the 10 year stretch (“strong” describes EF-2 and EF-3 tornadoes). These tornadoes generate wind speeds as high as 111-165 miles per hour.
Between April 2005 and December 2016, as many as 12 violent tornadoes touched down in the Valley (“violent” describes tornadoes that produce EF4 or EF5 damage). These violent tornadoes are only 3 percent of the total number that have touched down within the 75 mile range from ARMOR, but they produced such extensive damage that they will remain etched in the psyche of residents who experienced them. Violent tornadoes can produce wind speeds in excess of 166 mph and can exceed 200 mph.