Tornado Alley

We are continuing our special week of weather blogs for Severe Weather Awareness WeekThis blog we talk about Tornado Alley. Upon doing research for this topic I found that there are many maps that show Tornado Alley in different parts of the country. Some maps show most of the Central Plains while others include the whole eastern part of the country. Tornado Alley stretches from about Waco, Texas northward through Oklahoma City, Wichita, Omaha and into South Dakota.

The map I picked was on the Storm Prediction website. This map shows the highest concentration of tornadoes. Tornadoes can occur anywhere in the world. Example, Hawaii saw a tornado a couple of weeks ago which is rare. Tornadoes can and do occur in other parts of the country anytime of the year. What makes the Central Plains  so tornado prone?

Well, it all has to do with geography. The Rocky Mountains, moisture sources, and our latitude. We are the only country in the world that sees more tornadoes per year than any other place on the planet. This is why people from other countries come to the central plains during the Spring to do some tornado chasing. They have seen the National Geographic and Discovery Channel specials and want to experience it for themselves.

The Central Plains is where most tornadoes occur during the Spring. This is because low pressure systems come from the Pacific Ocean, cooler drier air is still coming in from Canada, moist air comes from the Gulf of Mexico and if the Jet Stream is overhead, all of them can combine and can create severe weather.  The only thing we can do is be prepared.

Next Blog: Is there a difference between Storm Spotter and Storm Chaser?

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