The devastating natural disaster tornado is much prevalent in almost every state of the US. And ‘Tornado Alley’ is the colloquial term for frequent tornadoes in southern central plains of the States.
Neither the name of a bowling alley nor some famous tornado, tornado alley is the unofficial name of a region in the US where tornadoes occur most frequently. A term used by media for the most of the time, tornado alley is south-central part with high frequency of tornadoes.
Even though the official borders of Tornado alley are not clearly evident and varies by different criteria, its core spans from northern Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma to Nebraska. Few studies indicate that tornados are eventually becoming more regular in northern regions of Tornado Alley where it touches the Canadian Prairies. So to say, it is the region from central Texas to the Canadian prairies and from eastern Colorado to western Pennsylvania.
Tornados are the dreary natural disasters that are prevalent in every single US state. So let’s look at some of the interesting facts about the south-central US alley of tornados called ‘Tornado alley’.
In 1952, tornado alley was used for the first time by USAF (U.S. Air Force) meteorologists Captain Robert Miller and Major Ernest J. Fawbush. It was the title of their research project that was based on severe weather conditions in the areas of Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, and several other US states.
According to study.com, nearly 500 tornados happen in the Tornado Alley on an annual basis.
Florida is the US state with highest tornadoes every year per unit area. But surprisingly, it does not fall in the Tornado Alley region.
Tornado alley is such an area that is highly suited for the production of supercell thunderstorms. And these can typically produce EF-2/F2 or even much greater tornadoes.
The regions falling under the tornado alley have far more stricter building codes so that property damage and loss of human life can be prevented to a larger extent.
Apart from that, establishment of storm cellars and installation of tornado sirens are the preventive measures taken. Tornado awareness, preparedness and media weather coverage also have a significant presence.
The best way to describe the Tornado alley region is by saying that it’s the region where warm moist air, cold dry air and warm dry air strike. All of this makes it fitting for producing tornado and thunderstorm.
The southeastern US, most prominently in lower Mississippi valley and the upper Tennessee valley, is colloquially called the Dixie alley. The tornados happen in this area during the late fall. Coined in 1971 by former director of NSSFC Allen Pearson, Dixie alley is referred to as the tornado valley of gulf coast area.
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