Tornado season is here. Here is what you need to know.

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent windstorm. Here’s how they form.

A tornado emerges west of Lockett, Tex., on April 29, 2021. (Matthew Cappucci/The Washington Post)
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For residents of the Deep South and the Plains, spring is a time of year to hold one’s breath. Swarms of tornadoes spin up like clockwork, tearing through neighborhoods and pastures and etching scars in the landscape.

While tornadoes occur all over the world, the United States sees more tornadoes than any other country — roughly 1,150 to 1,200 per year on average. So many tornadoes form in the United States because its geography and climate bring together the key ingredients for spinning storms: a mix of cold, dry and warm, humid air.

For those curious about tornadoes — and what gives rise to the deadly phenomena — we’ve got you covered: