WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Is it true thunderstorms and tornadoes are always a factor on the east side of a hurricane?

Posted September 13, 2008 10:10 a.m. EDT

MIKE MOSS SAYS:     M K,     "Always" is a strong word in weather forecasting! It is true that there tends to be an enhanced chance of tornadoes (usually brief and weak, with rare exceptions) within the right front quadrant of a tropical cyclone with regards to its direction of motion. So, for a storm moving northward across our state, as is often the case, the best chance of tornadic cells is north and east of the center of circulation, and therefore mostly along and to the east of the center track. While that's a reasonably accurate guideline, it doesn't mean that there will be tornadoes in that area every single time, nor does it completely exclude the chance of a tornado in someother quadrant of the storm.