Tornado Alley

Tornado Alley

:"For the book by William S. Burroughs, see Tornado Alley (book). Tornado Alley is a colloquial term most often used in reference to the area of the United States in which tornadoes are most frequent. Although an official location is not defined, the areas in between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains are the areas usually associated with it.

Tornado geography

Although no state is entirely free of tornadoes, they are most frequent in the Plains area between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains and in the state of Florida. The state where twisters most commonly occur is Oklahoma (notably due to its nature and the area where tornadoes can occur).cite web | title = TORNADO NUMBERS 1950 - 1994 | publisher = Storm Prediction Center | url = | accessdate = 2007-04-26 ] When land area is taken into account, however, Florida has the highest density of tornado occurrence in the country.cite web | title = Tornado Climatology | publisher = National Climatic Data Center | date = January 29, 2007 | url = | accessdate = 2007-04-26 ] However nearly all of Florida's tornadoes are weak, short lived and not produced by supercell thunderstorms that originate from cumulonimbus clouds; Oklahoma has the highest occurrence of such "classic" supercellular tornadoes. In contrast, the Northeast and West tend to be the least tornado-prone regions in the United States.


Although Tornado Alley is generally considered to be in the areas of the Central United States, no official definition of the term has actually been produced by the National Weather Service. According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory FAQ, [ [] ] "Tornado Alley" is a term created by the media to refer to areas that have greater numbers of tornadoes. There are several ideas of what Tornado Alley is, but those ideas are the result of the different criteria used to refer to it.

ignificant Tornado Alley

Perhaps the most common definition of tornado alley is the location of where the strongest tornadoes occur most frequently. In the United States that location is from Texas, northward through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and into South Dakota. States to the east of this region do experience strong tornadoes, [ [ F5 and EF5 Tornadoes of the United States] ] however they do not occur with the frequency as they do in states to the west.

Other criteria

into Florida.

Time of year

Also to be considered is the time of year. The highest frequency of tornadoes, commonly (but incorrectly) called "tornado season", shifts geographically depending on the season. During the winter months the Southeastern United States receives the highest number of tornadoes. During the months of March - May the threat shifts into the central United States. Then during the summer months the highest concentration of tornadoes tends to shift farther north as the weather warms across the U.S. Technically speaking, however, the central plains may be considered part of the tornado alley almost all-year-round, since this is where "temperature swings" between warm and cold air are most common.


The nickname "Dixie Alley" is sometimes used for the areas in the southeastern U.S.–notably the lower Mississippi Valley and the upper Tennessee Valley–which are particularly vulnerable to strong tornadoes. More people have been killed by tornadoes in this particular region than those of the Great Plains because of the higher population density in the southeastern United States. [cite web
title = Southeast tornadoes are nation's deadliest | publisher = USA Today | date = May 20, 2005 | url = | accessdate = 2007-10-16
] The term Dixie Alley is used extensively by The Weather Channel.cite web | last = Gerard | first = Alan | coauthors = Gordon, John | title = Tornado Alley vs. Dixie Alley | publisher = National Weather Service | url = | accessdate = 2007-04-26 ]


In the heart of tornado alley, building codes are often stricter than those for other parts of the U.S., requiring strengthened roofs and more secure connections between the building and its foundation. Other common precautionary measures include the construction of storm cellars, and the installation of tornado sirens. Tornado awareness and media weather coverage are also high.

Some studies suggest that there are also smaller tornado alleys located across the United States.cite conference |first=Chris |last=Broyles |coauthors=C. Crosbie |title=Evidence of Smaller Tornado Alleys Across the United States Based on a Long Track F3-F5 Tornado Climatology Study from 1880-2003 |booktitle=22nd Conference on Severe Local Storms |publisher=American Meteorological Society |date=October 2004 |location=Hyannis, MA |url= ]


ee also

* List of tornadoes and tornado outbreaks
* Hurricane Alley

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tornado alley — Tornado, 1949 in Kansas (USA) Ein Tornado (spanisch tornar „umkehren, wenden“, Partizip tornado; tornear „wirbeln, drechseln“), auch Großtrombe, Wind oder Wasserhose, in den USA umgangssprachlich auch Twister genannt, ist ein kleinräumiger… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tornado Alley — Conditions météorologiques créant les tornades dans la Tornado Alley en couleur saumon au centre La Tornado Alley (en français, l allée des tornades) est un terme commun pour désigner une région centrale des États Unis couvrant plusieurs États ou …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tornado Alley — Se ha sugerido que este artículo o sección sea fusionado con Corredor de los Tornados (discusión). Una vez que hayas realizado la fusión de artículos, pide la fusión de historiales aquí. Tornado Alley (literalmente en castellano: callejón de los… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Tornado Alley — Umriss der Tornado Alley in den USA, hier: Fläche mit dem höchsten Prozentsatz zerstörerischer Tornados Tornado Alley (engl., Tornado Allee) ist ein umgangssprachlicher Ausdruck, mit dem ein bestimmter Bereich im Mittleren Westen der USA… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tornado Alley — area between Lawton, Oklahoma and Wichita Falls, Texas …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • tornado alley — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Tornado Alley (book) — infobox Book | name = Tornado Alley title orig = translator = image caption = 1989 Cherry Valley Editions paperback edition. author = William S. Burroughs cover artist = country = United States language = English series = genre = short stories,… …   Wikipedia

  • Tornado climatology — [ Tornado Alley.] Tornado climatology is the study of where and when tornadoes occur as well as associated physical reasons for this distribution. Research in this developing area of science has shown many patterns in tornado formation. Tornadoes …   Wikipedia

  • Tornado — Tornado, 1949 in Kansas (USA) Ein Tornado (spanisch tornar „umkehren, wenden, drehen“, Partizip tornado; tornear „wirbeln, drechseln“), auch Großtrombe, Wind oder Wasserhose, in den USA umgangssprachlich auch Twister genannt, ist ein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tornado myths — are common misconceptions and urban legends related to tornadoes. They often deal with tornado safety, the minimization of tornado damage, and false assumptions about the size, shape, power, and path of the tornado itself.afety MythsUsing highway …   Wikipedia