(WSPA) – During the spring months of March, April and May, the weather tends to get more active and can usually bring severe weather.

That includes the possibility of tornadoes.

Tornadoes basically need three ingredients to form: Wind shear, instability and moisture.

Wind shear is when you have winds at the surface going in one direction, and winds higher up going in a separate direction.

This interaction between the winds will create a horizontal rotation. Instability is the tendency to rise.

This will take that horizontal rotation and turn it vertically. This is when the tornado usually forms.

Moisture is what makes it all possible.

In South Carolina, we usually get the warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico or sometimes the Atlantic Ocean.

All of this is reliant on what’s called the jet stream.

Bill Martin from the National Weather Service explains what the jet stream means for tornadoes.

“The jet stream, the jet stream aloft, which is a stream of fast-moving air that separates colder air to the north from warmer air to the south. And in the springtime, it moves northward. And as it moves northward, it will spend more time right over the top of us than it will during other times of the year.”

That’s also why tornadoes usually happen during the Spring, rather than the Summer, Fall or Winter.

While some people tend to think of tornadoes taking place in what’s labeled as “Tornado Alley” around Oklahoma or Texas, or even around Mississippi or Alabama, tornadoes can occur anywhere in the world, including in the mountains.

“Tornadoes can form in the mountains. They are less common. The main reason tornadoes are less common in the mountains is all that low-layer moisture tends not to get up in the mountains.”

Since everyone has the chance of being hit, it’s best to be prepared ahead of the storm.

Doug Bryson, with Spartanburg County Emergency Services, has a few tips to keep in mind.

“Power outages are very likely. So we want to make sure you have your cell phones charged, battery-operated radios, flashlights.”

Emergency Management will also be giving these radios out for free throughout the summer.

It’s great to stay ahead of any tornadoes, but during a tornado, you’ll also need to know where to take shelter.

Normally that’s in the centermost of the house or structure. Usually in a bathroom because they’re smaller.

At the very least, you’ll want to be inside during a tornado warning. Bill Martin explains why.

“Most tornado injuries occur from people being hit by flying debris. A piece of wood, a branch, a stick or something hits you at 95 miles per hour, that is not a good thing.”

Martin also said about how we are evolving the forecast to continually improve accuracy.

“There are various aspects of meteorology that aren’t modeled exactly right that we continue to work on and improve. Those are the three things. You got better data, better models, and better computers. All those things lead to a more accurate forecast.”

It’s best to always remember to have multiple ways of receiving alerts whenever severe weather is possible.