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A “winter tornado” struck the town of Cortland, Ohio, surprising residents who said they’ve never seen a tornado before.

SALT LAKE CITY — A “winter tornado”struck the town of Cortland, Ohio, surprising residents who said they’ve never seen a tornado before.

  • Emily Kwiecinski saw the tornado outside her window and yelled to her family to get underground.
  • “I’m from Simi Valley, California, I’ve never seen a tornado,” she told the Cortland Tribune Chronicle. “I’ve experienced earthquakes, but not a tornado."
  • The winter tornado struck the Champion Township on Tuesday morning at about 10:25 a.m. It was an EF-1 tornado, which was about 75 yards wide and had wind speeds from 95 to 100 miles per hour.
  • According to The Weather Channel, the rare January Ohio tornado — just the seventh since 1950 — “downed trees and power lines and damaged an outbuilding.”

See photos of the storm below:

By the numbers: Ohio experiences about 15 to 16 tornadoes every year. They most often happen in May, June and July, according to The Weather Channel. Across the U.S., about 39 tornadoes strike in January every year on average. Only December averages fewer tornadoes.

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  • Parts of the South are the most likely location for tornadoes in January, according to The Weather Channel. “This is due to the region's close proximity to Gulf of Mexico moisture, which gets squashed southward during the winter. At times, however, that moisture can get pulled northward by weather systems that move across the country in January, resulting in an increased chance of severe weather including possible tornadoes.”
  • “Sometimes, the amount of moisture and instability available may be limited, but strong upper-level energy compensates in generating the risk of severe storms with tornadoes, damaging wind gusts and large hail.”

Next up: Several rounds of snow showers are expected in the Northeast this week, ABC News reported. Wind gusts from snow squalls will also impact the area.