Heat waves, thunderstorms, sandstorms… When the good weather returns, the weather can hold many surprises for you. One of the most destructive weather phenomena is obviously the tornado.

If they often make the headlines across the Atlantic, tornadoes are also very present in France. Each year, there are on average between 40 and 50 on French soil, “most of them with very low intensities”, reports KERAUNOS, the French observatory for tornadoes and violent thunderstorms.

In theory, you can be affected by this kind of weather phenomenon regardless of the time of year and/or the department in which you live.

In fact, tornadoes are much more frequent during the hot season (May-October). These six months of the year bring together “more than two thirds of the cases of tornadoes”, specifies the site of the observatory.

As for the places most affected, there are certain regions that are more at risk than others. In the slideshow below, find the 21 French departments most exposed to tornadoes.*

In France, the intensity of tornadoes is generally very low. Most often, they generate winds of 105 to 135 km/h. But they can be much more dangerous by generating winds of more than 320 km/h. In this case, it is classified at the EF5 level of the improved Fujita scale.

We have to go back to June 24, 1967, in Pas-de-Calais to witness such a meteorological phenomenon in France. To protect yourself from a tornado, find out what you should do:

No matter how severe the tornado is, this weather phenomenon should be taken seriously. Never try to approach it.

*Based on Weather Express data.