[45] Though the wind speed was over the F5 maximum, the tornado was not named the first ever F6 storm, as there was no F6 classification. [15] West Virginia, by contrast, is one of the least vulnerable states of all with just 120 tornadoes reported over the period. [5][6] Because spring is a transitional period for the climate, there are more chances of cooler air meeting with warmer air, resulting in more thunderstorms. Discover the magic of the internet at Imgur, a community powered entertainment destination. [8], During the winter months of the year, tornadoes have been known to hit the Southern United States and Southeastern United States the most, but have hit other areas as well. [43], The United States has seen 59 F5 and EF5 (the highest intensity and damage ranking) tornadoes since records began in 1950. [15] Iowa reported 3,900 almost as many as Texas. [17] A number of Florida's tornadoes occur along the edge of hurricanes that strike the state. [45] Other scientists reviewed the DOW data taken by the students, and concluded that the estimated wind speed may have been inaccurate, but still over 300 miles per hour (130 m/s). There is no officially defined 'Tornado Alley' – at its broadest this area stretches from northern Texas to Canada with its core centered on Oklahoma, Kansas and northern Texas. [3][46] According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, most tornado deaths are caused by people not following instructions on what to do the right way. [36] Of the states in this region – according to NCDC figures for the 1950 to 2006 period – Colorado reported 1,617 tornadoes, followed by Wyoming with 560, Montana (345), Idaho (175), and Utah (114).[15]. This storm was the deadliest to hit the United States that year. Most tornadoes in the United States occur east of the Rocky Mountains. [38] For example, due to the high frequency of tornadoes in the "Tornado Alley" area mentioned before, a more violent tornado would be more likely to form there due to the strength of the thunderstorms produced by the two bordering air masses. An EF5 tornado has winds over 200 mph (89 m/s; 320 km/h) and can totally destroy reinforced concrete structures, even throwing rail cars a considerable distance. [41] However, these high-intensity storms do account for an average of seventy percent of all tornado-related deaths in the United States each year. NSSL researcher and tornado expert Harold Brooks co-wrote the study. [31] Non-supercell tornadoes are rarely as strong as supercell-generated storms. Tornado Alley is a colloquial term for the area of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent.. Most of the tornadoes here happen in the very eastern part of the state. In the Southwestern United States, New Mexico reported 485 tornadoes during the 1950 to 2006 period (NCDC figures), California reported 355, Arizona reported 209, and Nevada reported 75. Although favorable conditions for tornadoes in the United States can occur at any time, they are most common in spring and least common in winter. [16] Florida experiences more thunderstorms than any other state but fewer supercell storms. This is a follow-up to the original Tornado Tracks map that breaks out each severity scale into a set of small multiples for visual comparison. [26] The region was badly hit by the Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak in April 1965 and by the Super Outbreak of April 1974. [12] This is caused by the large amount of vertical wind shear to the right of the storm. © 2020 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. Increasing information has been gathered in the field from those chasing the storm. “It’s not that Texas and Oklahoma do not get tornadoes,” Gensini said. [15] However, Portland, Oregon and neighboring Vancouver, Washington were hit by a deadly tornado on 5 April 1972. [10], Usually, tornadoes hit specific areas of the United States in specific seasons. More recently Doppler radar allows investigators to see a circulation develop in the storm. [15], The Northeastern U.S. to the east of the Appalachian Mountains is much less vulnerable to violent tornadoes but is by no means immune. The Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies a tornado by its damage and then uses that classification to estimate the tornado's wind speed. According to NCDC figures for the 1950 to 2006 period, Mississippi reported 1,787 tornadoes, followed by Louisiana (1,644), Alabama (1,608), Arkansas (1,579), Georgia (1,324), North Carolina (1,042), Tennessee (892), South Carolina (819), Kentucky (710) and Virginia (565). Small cities such as Limon, Kit Carson, Thurman, and Flagler are some places in Eastern Colorado that have experienced dangerous tornadoes. These are sometimes tornadic but rarely produce violent tornadoes. This infographic provides information about tornadoes in America. [27] Some areas experience repeated damaging tornado events, such as the Tennessee Valley and in northern Alabama.

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