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Tornado Alley: Patterns without predictability

November 19, 2013

With the devastating tornado(s) that happened in the last few days in Illinois and elsewhere it may be of interest to have a look at a little data about “Tornado Alley”.  The article is a little dated, since it is reporting on the tornado last May in Moore, Oklahoma but the data may shed some light on these most recent events.

Full Article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22607522

By Jason Palmer

The enormous tornado that struck in Moore, Oklahoma, on Monday has added a chilling entry into the list of the deadliest tornadoes on record.

The event has many recalling a record-breaking tornado that struck in precisely the same region in 1999, during which the fastest winds ever seen on the Earth’s surface were recorded: over 500km/h (310mph).

<snip>

The geography and climatology in the US’ interior provide for just this situation with great regularity; three-quarters of the tornadoes that happen on Earth happen in North America. A disproportionate number of those occur in a region in the nation’s centre, widely known as “Tornado Alley”.

It is a loosely defined area; the state of Texas gets on average the highest annual number of tornadoes, but Kansas, further north, gets the highest number of the more violent storms.

Full Article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22607522

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