Tornado Alley?


According to the U.S. Weather Service, nowhere on earth is more prone to have tornadoes than in certain parts of the U.S. In the news we are always hearing about "Tornado Alley" (Oklahoma, Kansas, etc.) which has many tornadoes in the spring of the year. But there's another tornado-prone part of the U.S. we rarely hear about.  It's in the southeastern U.S. along the Gulf Coast where I grew up.   Tornado season there is during a different part of the year.  It can be tragic like this scene captured from my TV a few years ago when a high school calapsed on some children.
Alabama Weather

I received an email that listed the to Ten most tornado prone cities in the U.S. Prominent were cities in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Kansas but in with the top 10 were also Jackson, Mississippi, and Birmingham, Alabama.

 Top Ten Most Tornado Prone Cities


Here are some quotes and statistics from the U.S. Weather Service about it.
(Source: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/severeweather/tornadoes.html)
"Tornado Alley is a nickname given to an area in the southern plains of the central U.S. that consistently experiences a high frequency of tornadoes each year... The Gulf Coast area has a separate tornado maximum nicknamed "Dixie Alley" with a relatively high frequency of tornadoes occurring in the late fall (October through December)."
Dixie Alley 

"Strong to violent tornadoes (those of EF3 or stronger...), are relatively rare, and do not typically occur outside the United States." "...on average over 1000 tornadoes hit the U.S. each year, ...20 can be expected to be violent and possibly one might be incredible (EF5)." "One of the main difficulties with tornado records is that a tornado, or evidence of a tornado must have been observed. Unlike rainfall or temperature, which may be measured by a fixed instrument,... If a tornado occurs in a place with few or no people, it is not likely to be documented."

THIS MEANS THE RURAL SOUTHEAST, WHICH IS FULL OF HILLS AND TREES, MAY HAVE EVEN MORE TORNADOES THAN THE FABLED "TORNADO ALLEY" BUT NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE BECAUSE IT IS OFTEN IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE THE TORNADOES THAT FALL IN WOODED AREAS.

IN 2005 FOR EXAMPLE, THERE WERE JUST AS MANY TORNADOES IN MISSISSIPPI AS THERE WERE IN TEXAS AND THERE WERE 3 TIMES AS MANY TORNADOES IN ALABAMA AS THERE WERE IN OKLAHOMA!
Tornadoes By State

WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE LONG-TERM AVERAGE OF VIOLENT STORMS, ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI HAVE MORE VIOLENT TORNADOES PER SQUARE MILE THAN TEXAS WHICH IS OVER 3 TIMES THEIR SIZE.

1950-1995 Average
IT GETS WORSE.  THE SECOND HIGHEST NUMBER OF PEOPLE INJURED OR KILLED IN A SINGLE YEAR HAPPENED IN 1936 WHEN, ON APR. 5th & 6th, 2 TORNADOES HIT GAINESVILLE, GA & TUPELO, MS THEN INJURED OR KILLED 1,803 PEOPLE. THE PREVIOUS DAY, TORNADOES IN TUPELO INJURED OR KILLED 916.
(Source: http://www.tornadoproject.com/toptens/4.htm and http://www.tornadoproject.com/toptens/5.htm)

SADLY, MISSISSIPPI & ALABAMA RANK 2nd & 3rd IN THE NATION FOR THE NUMBER OF TORNADO DEATHS BY STATE EXCEEDED ONLY BY THE STATE OF TEXAS WHICH ACCORDING TO THE 2010 CENSUS HAD 5 TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE AS ALABAMA AND 8 TIMES AS MANY AS MISSISSIPPI.  ON A PER CAPITA BASIS, THAT MAKES THE DEEP SOUTH THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE IN THE NATION IF YOU'RE AFRAID BEING KILLED BY A TORNADO.
(Source: http://www.alabamaskywarn.org/Statistics/Tornado_deaths_by_state.html & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_by_state)
Tornado Deaths By State