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Why so many tornadoes near Oklahoma City?

Severe weather is common in the Plains in late spring along the so-called dry line, where cool, dry air from the Rockies meets warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico.

Why so many tornadoes near Oklahoma City?

Destructive vortex

Rotating winds inside a super cell may spawn tornadoes. The tornado that hit Moore, Okla., on Monday was particularly large and powerful.

Unstable conditions produce an updraft of warm, moist air.

As the storm forms, cooler air wrapping in from behind causes the rising air to spin. This is called a mesocyclone.

As the mesocyclone intensifies, it may produce violent rotating winds at the surface — a tornado.