As tens of millions of Americans are told to stay home and avoid gatherings to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, forecasters have offered guidance about using shelters as tornado season approaches.Tornadoes can happen any time of the year, but there are distinct seasons for twisters in different parts of the country, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC).”There is a general northward shift in “tornado season” in the U.S. from late winter through midsummer,” the SPC says. “The peak period for tornadoes in the Southern Plains, for example, is during May into early June. On the Gulf Coast, it is earlier during the spring; in the Northern Plains and upper Midwest, it is June or July.”HOW STRONG CAN TORNADOES GET? HERE’S A BREAKDOWNOn average, around 1,200 tornadoes are reported in the U.S. every year and kill about 60 people annually, mostly from flying or falling debris. The average number of tornadoes in each state in the U.S. (NOAA)The National Weather Service office in Birmingham, Ala. said Sunday in a statement the Alabama Department of Public Health is recommending now during the COVID-19 pandemic the first priority during tornado warning should be “to protect yourself from a potential tornado.””If a warning is issued for your area,

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