Why the US has so many tornadoes

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  • Published: 30 July 2019
  • Tornado Alley experiences more tornadoes than anywhere else in the world — why?
    This video is presented by CuriosityStream: curiositystream.com/Vox

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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:
    ncdc.noaa.gov/climate-information/extreme-events/us-tornado-climatology/trends

    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:
    citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.660.5241&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    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:
    news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/150511-tornadoes-storms-midwest-weather-science/

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Comments • 1 173

  • Vox
    Vox   3 months back

    Hey everyone! Our Production Manager Ashley and I had a little too much fun researching footage for this video and wanted to share some of our favorites with you. Head over to the Video Lab to check out our recommendations for some of the best tornado videos on the internet (and a little karate too).
    www.youtube.com/vox/join

    - Kim

    • robinsss
      robinsss  4 weeks back

      there is no logical reason for the  warm moist air of the Amazon rainforest to move toward the south because the jet stream is pushing all the air on the continent toward the east ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….logically the moist air from the Amazon should move toward the east along with all the other air on the continent ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… logically the air from the gulf of Mexico should also move toward the east  because the jet stream moves most air in north America from the west to the east but  in the description given in the video the gulf  air moves toward the northwest against the direction of the jet stream to reach northern  Texas...……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..once you know that that is a very strange direction  for  air to move in North America then you have to figure out why it is happening and moving against the  jet stream to reach Northern Texas

    • Bobba Rockersons
      Bobba Rockersons  1 months back

      Can I smell your foot

    • Leonardo* da*Vinci
      Leonardo* da*Vinci  2 months back

      Lightning next to tornados are likely anty gravity engines that discharge from time to time in a time sequence.

  • Jacob Painter
    Jacob Painter  6 hours back

    Couple of things: I’ve lived in Oklahoma for my entire life, never seen a tornado. It’s very disappointing especially since I used to go seek them out when I was going to school at OU and living in Norman. BUT! I never really knew how they work until watching this, so thank you! Lastly, I see your carefully placed vinyl copy of the best album of all time ‘In Rainbows’. Vox likes Radiohead and I like you for it. Keep up the great work!

    • Blueflower L
      Blueflower L  2 days back

      karma

      • keepingupwith jee
        keepingupwith jee  2 days back

        So Alaska hasn’t seen 1 tornado ? Im moving there

        • shayfay00
          shayfay00  4 days back

          2019 was a pretty devastating year for tornadoes

          • BlazeTron 9 Gaming
            BlazeTron 9 Gaming  7 days back

            i had a sand tornado before
            can you explain that?

            • Candie Cutie Plays
              Candie Cutie Plays  7 days back

              I live in Illinois, and I’m scared of anything assigned with storms

              • Charles Choate
                Charles Choate  7 days back

                I live in Oklahoma. Tornado sirens are just a noise you hear often. It's not even alarming anymore. Lol

                • Huening Kai's left cheek

                  I live in tornado alley and I just think my state is bipolar

                  • Rita Tran
                    Rita Tran  1 weeks back

                    This is a lot better than science...

                    • simple bitch
                      simple bitch  1 weeks back

                      california and alaska: **starts shaking**

                      • Tyler Cooper
                        Tyler Cooper  1 weeks back

                        I've lived in tornado alley my entire 34 years on this earth and I still have never seen a tornado...

                        • iiPixlz
                          iiPixlz  1 weeks back

                          I'm from Oklahoma and tornado warnings just make us drive around looking for a twister

                          • Gabo's Gaming 510
                            Gabo's Gaming 510  2 weeks back

                            I don't know why am commiting again
                            I live in California and this says that their is tornados happen in California?

                            • Gabo's Gaming 510
                              Gabo's Gaming 510  2 weeks back

                              I thought that 1000 tornados a year

                              But 1300 tornados happen in the US
                              a year
                              I guess that was a little lie ?

                              • RealSnqwy
                                RealSnqwy  2 weeks back

                                Look at the thumbnail. Can someone explain why Madagascar is in the middle of the United States??

                                • RealSnqwy
                                  RealSnqwy  2 weeks back

                                  @Stoneybrook Forge The begging

                                • Stoneybrook Forge
                                  Stoneybrook Forge  2 weeks back

                                  It's not. It just the shape of it looks like Madagascar, but its distorted. I did believe that at the begging ;/

                              • Lemon Head
                                Lemon Head  2 weeks back

                                I know it may sound wierd but why not try building housing units that are underground in these areas. It might not be as appealing but you wouldnt have to worry as much.

                                • Lo ki
                                  Lo ki  2 weeks back

                                  England also has tornadoes this year in 2019 there was a tornado , but the strongest tornado on record in England was a EF3 tornado in Birmingham 2005
                                  England gets a tornado about 5-10 years

                                  • Lo ki
                                    Lo ki  2 weeks back

                                    i have seen a supercell in england , but only once

                                    • JESSEN FERNANDO
                                      JESSEN FERNANDO  3 weeks back

                                      Im lucky that i don't live in usa

                                      • Dennis Szadeczky
                                        Dennis Szadeczky  3 weeks back

                                        Its funny that America has the weakest houses meanwhile there is a lot of threats

                                        • rage storms
                                          rage storms  3 weeks back

                                          What kind of house can withstand a tornado I would love to see it

                                      • Sam Afgan
                                        Sam Afgan  3 weeks back

                                        They should make storm shelters for all those poor cows :(

                                        • Veronica W
                                          Veronica W  3 weeks back

                                          I live in tornado alley. Here after three tornado hit my city on September 11, 2019

                                          • maria hernandez
                                            maria hernandez  3 weeks back

                                            ON MY BDAY

                                            • Just Kiyomi
                                              Just Kiyomi  3 weeks back

                                              And here in Japan I stress over Earthquakes --

                                              • L Bo
                                                L Bo  3 weeks back

                                                While this still is very interesting to me.. I'd love to see something like this about hurricanes as well. They seem to be more abundant and my city personally has been devastated by hurricane floods 3 times in a few years.

                                                • ceazer
                                                  ceazer  3 weeks back

                                                  Every country has its own problems to deal with.

                                                  • Chattey
                                                    Chattey  4 weeks back

                                                    Thanks youtube! Right after a tornado hit my town...

                                                    • JOSHUA NOYOLA
                                                      JOSHUA NOYOLA  4 weeks back

                                                      Build the wall and make the gulf of mexico pay for it.TRUMPETA 2016.

                                                      • Charley is a person
                                                        Charley is a person  4 weeks back

                                                        Just two weeks ago there were three tornados where I live

                                                        • minus -
                                                          minus -  4 weeks back

                                                          Each year the tornado Alley moves

                                                          • rage storms
                                                            rage storms  3 weeks back

                                                            No that's a misconception and there are actually three tornado alleys

                                                        • FrostProZone
                                                          FrostProZone  4 weeks back

                                                          Ohio is breathing

                                                        • N96ZG
                                                          N96ZG  4 weeks back

                                                          I grew up In Kansas City and it is common to go outside and look for the tornado when the sirens go off.

                                                          • rage storms
                                                            rage storms  3 weeks back

                                                            The people on Joplin used to do that too

                                                        • Idk what a good name is

                                                          Has Arizona had one?

                                                          • Christopher Prangue
                                                            Christopher Prangue  4 weeks back

                                                            It because US is part of ring of fire and that why US is part of it

                                                            • DrunkenGuitarGuy
                                                              DrunkenGuitarGuy  4 weeks back

                                                              i hate these attempts to explain something so complex in a couple minutes, good enough job trying i guess but your doomed to failure as far as i'm concerned

                                                              • Rams Hacks
                                                                Rams Hacks  4 weeks back

                                                                Ever heard of Texas

                                                                • Matthew Doel
                                                                  Matthew Doel  4 weeks back

                                                                  1:03 Finally, something Alaska and Rhode Island have in common.

                                                                  • estrellahub
                                                                    estrellahub  4 weeks back

                                                                    I live in tornado alley and literally don’t care when I get Alerts

                                                                    • rage storms
                                                                      rage storms  3 weeks back

                                                                      Just like the people of Joplin was

                                                                  • cintia197021
                                                                    cintia197021  4 weeks back

                                                                    Hey Vox I’m from Connecticut and last year we had five tornadoes hit very close to each other we’ve had 7 not 2

                                                                    • Dance of Darkness Rae
                                                                      Dance of Darkness Rae  1 months back

                                                                      ... I live in the US. This is just like asking why Florida has so many Hurricanes. I also live in Sioux Falls and I will say we are alright! Hey it’s like Hurricane season for Florida people. Don’t worry. I thank you outside people for saying prayers!

                                                                      • Next Level atv and motorcycle OOO

                                                                        The reason why there is so many tornadoes is because the US government has Head weather control for a very long time they could walk a tornado wherever they wanted to by the 1970s so imagine what they can do now, you don't have to just look what's going on!!!

                                                                        • rage storms
                                                                          rage storms  3 weeks back

                                                                          Dude where do you buy your drugs from there's been tornadoes long before humans

                                                                      • Hayley’s Comet
                                                                        Hayley’s Comet  1 months back

                                                                        Arkansas is in tornado alley too yall

                                                                        • Canada
                                                                          Canada  1 months back

                                                                          Is Canada ok in Toronto?

                                                                          • Kristin L.
                                                                            Kristin L.  1 months back

                                                                            And then there was Florida...

                                                                            • -*.FõxįwÕłfįę Potato.*-

                                                                              I’m glad that I went to Gulf of Mexico at the right time before dying oof ;-;

                                                                              • -*.FõxįwÕłfįę Potato.*-

                                                                                I’m in Lubbock so maybe I’m safe?

                                                                                • rage storms
                                                                                  rage storms  3 weeks back

                                                                                  Pretty sure that place has been hit before

                                                                              • Ohhh NOES
                                                                                Ohhh NOES  1 months back

                                                                                I just learned the word Debris in 5th grade,and people are using it