MILLIONS of Americans are on high alert as tornado activity is expected to peak in the coming days.
May beings this weekend, and the month is notorious for peak tornado activity across the nation, as nine twister-related deaths have been reported so far this year.
The severe May weather all starts with a disturbance in the jet stream pushing out of the Rockies and into the Plains, interacting with warm air and ample moisture, Weather.com reports.
The US tornado season typically runs from March until June but has already caused havoc across the South and Plains.
So far, more than 200 tornadoes have touched down in the US through four months, 17 of those inNorth Texas, a region that sees 23 on average.
This year has produced the most March twisters on record, surpassing a previous record of 192 in March 2017.
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There have been two reported deaths stemming from tornado activity in North Texas.
The first death came on March 21 in Grayson County, near the Oklahoma state line.
With winds of up to 130 miles per hour, the tornado hit the community of Sherwood Shores, where Viranda Rodgers, 73, was at home by herself.
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Regena Wicker, Rodgers' niece, said her aunt was completely blindsided when the powerful storm ripped through her mobile home.
"I couldn’t believe it that she lost her life over this. You just want it to not be real," Wicker told Fox 4.
"She is the only one in the whole state that got affected. There weren’t any other fatalities."
The second death was reported on April 5 in Whitehouse, Texas, when a tree toppled onto the home of W. M. Soloman, 71, as winds in the area were measured at 100 mph.
Two tornadoes were reported in Georgia on the same day, resulting in one death.
The Bryan County Coroner confirmed the death to CNN but did not have any details about the victim or how they died.
ARKANSAS AND NEW ORLEANS
On March 22, two tornadoes ripped through New Orleans, killing one.
Terrifying footage showed as the twister blasted through the city, destroying homes and flipping cars.
On April 13, more than 62million Americans across the South and central US were slammed by severe weather, bringing blizzards, fires and storms across the region.
In Arkansas, a 20-year-old woman was killed after a tree fell on her mobile home in the Rison community, about 45 miles south of Little Rock.
"When we arrived, she was already deceased on the scene," Stephen McClellan, emergency management director in Cleveland County, Arkansas, told weather.com at the time.
Two others were in the home but escaped injury.
Meanwhile, a series of powerful storms battered through the Florida Panhandle on March 30, leaving two dead.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office said that two people were killed and two injured after a tornado touched down.
The overnight storms with isolated tornadoes toppled trees, and power lines, leaving homes and businesses damaged.
The sheriff's office showed evidence of homes being completely destroyed by a tornado.
A journalist described the damage as "absolutely devastating" and shared a photo of a demolished home that was turned into rubble.
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