Map shows where in the US is most at risk of tornados this season

Tornado probability estimated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from severe weather reports from 1982-2011 (Picture: Getty Images/ graphic)

Tornadoes wrecked deadly havoc on numerous US states over the weekend and the worst may be yet to come, as twister season continues for another few months.

Powerful storms brought tornadoes to Nebraska and Iowa on Friday and Saturday, and twisters tore down towns in Oklahoma on Sunday.

A tornado ‘is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground’ that ‘forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust and debris’, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

The US is hit by about 1,200 tornadoes annually and they first began to be tracked in 1950.

This year from April 26 to 28, at least 72 twisters hit the US from Nebraska to Texas.

On Friday, a tornado destroyed homes in Omaha and left 10,000 Nebraskans without power. One of the hardest hit places was Elkorn in the western area of the city, where hundreds of residences were ripped apart. Resident Kim woods said ‘the whole neighborhood just to the north of us is pretty flattened’.

Two days later, twisters descended on Oklahoma on Saturday into Sunday and killed at least four people including a child. Among the communities that were struck were Holdenville, Marietta and Sulpher, which seemed to be battered by several tornadoes overnight.

How are tornadoes categorized?

Tornadoes are categorized by strength based on the damage they inflict. The National Weather Service implemented the Enhanced Fujita Scale in 2007 to rate twisters.

What is Tornado Alley?

‘Tornado Alley’ is a ‘nickname invented by the media to refer to a broad area of relatively high tornado occurrence in the central United States’, according to the NSSL.

Such maps may differ because twister occurrence can be measured in different ways, including all tornadoes, only violent ones, by counties, and within certain time frames.

According to the NSSL, the term tornado alley can also be misleading.

‘The US tornado threat shifts from the Southeast in the cooler months of the year, toward the southern and central Plains in May and June, and the northern Plains and Midwest during early summer,’ stated the agency.

‘Tornadoes can occur and have been reported in all fifty states!’

When is tornado season?

The peak tornado season in the southern Plains, which include Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, runs from May into early June.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at

For more stories like this, check our news page.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *