Why the US has so many tornadoes
- Published: 30 July 2019
- Tornado Alley experiences more tornadoes than anywhere else in the world — why?
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The United States experiences more tornadoes than any other country, averaging over 1,200 per year. Most of those twisters are touching down in the central part of the country in an area called “Tornado Alley.” While the boundaries of this tornado hotbed are disputed, there’s no denying that something is going on here — and it all has to do with geography.
The map we use in this video for Tornado Alley boundaries is from NOAA — you can find that and more information on their website: ncdc.noaa.gov/climate-information/extreme-events/us-tornado-climatology/tornado-alley
Information on tornado averages and trends can also be found at NOAA:
You may have noticed on our graphic around the one-minute mark that many of the Southeastern US states are prone to tornadoes as well. This is because they’re part of an area called “Dixie Alley.” The main difference between this area and Tornado Alley that tornadoes in Dixie Alley are more likely to touch down in the fall, while Tornado Alley experiences twisters in the early spring. This happens for the reasons outlined in the video above. This article offers a fairly compelling comparison of the two:
Finally, this video offered a simplified explanation of a really complex weather phenomenon. This National Geographic article does a really great job breaking it down again and also offers information on why it’s so hard to track and predict tornadoes:
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