Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America)


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A study of — tornadoes concluded almost one-fourth of all significant tornadoes occur in this area. Although the official boundaries of Tornado Alley are not clearly defined, its core extends from northern Texas , Oklahoma , Kansas , Nebraska , Missouri , Iowa along with South Dakota. No state is entirely free of tornadoes; however, they occur more frequently in the Central United States , between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains.

Kansas and Oklahoma ranked first and second respectively in the number of tornadoes per area, per data collected through , however in statistics from the National Climatic Data Center show Florida ranked first. Another criterion for the location of Tornado Alley or Tornado Alleys can be where the strongest tornadoes occur more frequently. Tornado Alley can also be defined as an area reaching from central Texas to the Canadian prairies and from eastern Colorado to western Pennsylvania. It has also been asserted that there are numerous Tornado Alleys.

The tornado alleys in the southeastern U. The study found, since , relatively-lower tornado frequency and impacts in parts of the traditional Tornado Alley, especially areas from north-central Texas toward the Houston, TX area, and relatively-higher tornado frequency and impacts in parts of the Mid-South, especially eastern Arkansas, the greater Memphis, TN area and northern Mississippi - all areas near the heart of Dixie Alley - see especially Figure 4.

In Tornado Alley, warm, humid air from the equator meets cool to cold, dry air from Canada and the Rocky Mountains. This creates an ideal environment for tornadoes to form within developed thunderstorms and super cells. The term "tornado alley" was first used in by U. Air Force meteorologists Major Ernest J. Fawbush — and Captain Robert C. Miller — as the title of a research project [15] to study severe weather in parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

Despite the elevated frequency of destructive tornadoes, building codes , such as requiring strengthened roofs and more secure connections between the building and its foundation , are not necessarily stricter compared to other areas of the United States and are markedly weaker than some hurricane prone areas such as south Florida. One particular tornado-afflicted town, Moore, Oklahoma , managed to increase its building requirements in Tornado awareness, preparedness , and media weather coverage are also high.

The southeastern United States is particularly prone to violent, long track tornadoes. Much of the housing in this region is less robust compared to other areas in the United States, and many people live in mobile homes. As a result, tornado-related casualties in the southern United States are higher. Significant tornadoes occur less frequently than in the traditionally recognized tornado alley, however, very severe and expansive outbreaks occur every few years. The average tornado only stays on ground for 5 minutes.

These figures, reported by the National Climatic Data Center for the period between and , show the seventeen U. After the U. Northern Ontario between the Manitoba border and the Lake Superior lakehead is also prone to severe tornadoes, but tornadoes in this area are believed to be underestimated due to the extremely low population in this region.

Roughly half of all Canadian tornadoes strike the Canadian prairies and Northern Ontario as far east as Lake Superior. Together, these regions make up the northernmost border of the U. Tornado Alley.

Where and When Twisters Strike

Tornadoes up to EF5 in strength have been documented in this region. Clair to Ottawa. This happens because tornadoes in this region are triggered or augmented by lake breeze fronts from Lake Huron , Lake Erie , Lake Ontario , and Georgian Bay.


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Tornadoes do not often hit lake shadow regions, [19] although they are not unknown, and some, such as the Goderich, Ontario tornado , have been violent. However, most Ontario tornadoes are concentrated in a narrow corridor from Windsor and Sarnia through London , and then northeast to Barrie and Ottawa. Southwestern Ontario weather is strongly influenced by its peninsular position between the Great Lakes. As a result, increases in temperature in this region are likely to increase the amount of precipitation in storms due to lake evaporation. Increased temperature contrasts may also increase the violence and possibly the number of tornadoes.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Area in the U. For the book by William S.

Burroughs , see Tornado Alley book. Florida: Glossary of Meteorology 2nd ed. A former oil town, Tulsa, Oklahoma is now known for its art deco architecture and seat in the Green Country near the Ozark Mountains and the Osage Hills. The second largest city in the state, Tulsa was founded in the early part of the 19th century, but despite its oil business dwindling, the city is expected to grow and expand in the near future.

Its location in a hilly area helps to discourage extreme storms, but in August , an EF5 tornado still managed to cause lasting damage to the community. Lincoln, otherwise known as Star City, is the state capital of Nebraska and a sprawling metropolitan area built on salt marshes. There have been numerous tornadoes in Lancaster County, and most of the deadliest have been within 10 miles of downtown Lincoln.

When Weather Changed History - Greentown (Greensburg, KS Tornado)

Only four tornadoes since have caused casualties in the city. Located in the central part of the state, Springfield is a quaint city, almost like a time capsule. Springfield itself saw two tornadoes touch down during the period, though they were weak at a rating of F2. Tornadoes are more common in the southern half of the state, where the land is flatter and home to more farms than in the forested north. Rochester is a city in southern Minnesota, and is the biggest in the state that would likely be struck by tornadoes. Rochester is home to the famous health organisation, the Mayo Clinic, and without a tornado, the clinic would not exist.

The Sunflower

After a bad bout of weather in , the Mayo family established a hospital to treat the injured, which has since grown to become world-renowned. Unlike the daytime tornadoes in Oklahoma, Arkansas storms usually occur in late afternoon and into the night. The most common area in Florida to produce tornadoes is in the inland part of the panhandle, roughly around the city of Orlando.


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Florida storms tend to be quite tame, but could still produce a waterspout if close enough to the ocean. Indianapolis, affectionately known as Indy by locals, is the capital and largest city in Indiana. The last tornado to touch down in the Indianapolis metro area was in , though it was a weak tornado that probably resembled more of a strong thunderstorm.

Located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Springfield is surrounded by natural wonders, both above and below ground. Just in early December , six tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service to have touched down in the Ozarks, long away from the usual tornado season. It proves that no matter what time of year or where you are, a tornado may just appear. Split by the Cedar River, severe storms could easily flood the city, which has happened in the past. Remnants of Hurricane Paine flooded the city for a week in Cedar Rapids still gets regular tornadoes, but the worst was back in April , when an F4 category storm tore through Linn County, picking up farmhouses and barns and carrying them off.

Other houses were damaged by lightning and rain, causing power outages and flooding. Louis is a darling of the South. Seeped in southern hospitality and made contemporary with industry and its huge university, St. Louis University, the city embodies the American spirit. The third deadliest in U. Fargo is often called The Gateway to the West, and once settlers crossed into North Dakota from the east, the land rapidly changed from forests to plateaus.

How Tornadoes Form and Why They’re so Unpredictable

Despite a bad tornado outbreak in that destroyed the northern part of the city, Fargo grew quickly and redeveloped the ruined neighbourhoods, expanding farther and faster than before. Ted Fujita, who developed the modern Fujita scale of rating tornadoes, studied the Fargo tornado to help develop storm categories.

Shreveport, a city in the northwest corner of Louisiana, built on the banks of the Red River on the route to Texas. Columbus is a city of parks and recreational areas along the Scioto River, which runs through the city. Even though San Antonio is a bustling, huge city, it often goes overlooked by other Texas cities. Located in southern Texas, it just evades severe tornado areas. Still, they happen. In , four tornadoes raged through the city, destroying homes.

Thankfully, nobody was severely injured, though many buildings were damaged beyond repair. In February , one year after the tornadoes, most residents had rebuilt or relocated. Its history can be traced all the way back to the s, making it one of the oldest in the South.

Kansas City Tornado Warning Came 24 Minutes Before Touchdown

Arkansas has its own Tornado Alley, crossing the state diagonally from Arkadelphia, through Little Rock, and to Jonesboro. Tornado deaths are high in this strip of the state, according to the National Weather Service. The only large city in Mississippi that has a high potential for tornadoes touching down is Jackson. This is because it sits on the Jackson Prairie, a huge area of flat grassland in Mississippi.

This modestly sized city is known as the City with Soul, due to the tradition of rock, blues, and jazz that emerged in the 20th century. Tornadoes are common enough in Jackson, and 35 were reported in the area from January to September Its worst, however, was in , when an F5 storm flattened buildings in the city and traveled all the way into Alabama. We and our trusted partners use cookies and tracking technologies to create custom content for your enjoyment and to provide advertising in line with your interests.

Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America) Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America)
Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America) Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America)
Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America) Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America)
Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America) Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America)
Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America) Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America)
Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America) Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America)
Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America) Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America)
Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America) Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley (Images of America)

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