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Tornado touches down in midwestern town

The Misconception About Midwest Tornadoes

Modern Weather and Tornadoes in General

Weather is an interesting point of discussion in modern times. Many people attempt to predict it, and many people say it’s unpredictable. The farmers plan ahead for predictions of entire seasons with the almanac, and some of them swear by it. One thing that is for certain, is that the United States has more tornadoes each year than anywhere else on the entire planet. Over 1,000 a year. Some of them are huge as well, like the mile wide in diameter tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma a few years ago in 2013. That tornado was in Oklahoma, which is subject to many tornadoes. Every state in the United States has experienced a tornado, but it’s common knowledge that the midwest experiences significantly more than everywhere else in the states. 

Other areas experience a lot of tornadoes as well. The gulf and the east coast get there fare share, but not from the same reasons the midwest does. The thunderstorms prevalent in those areas give rise to the tornadoes. This is typically during the warmer months, where these severe storms are more prevalent due to the heat and density of water in the air. 

A lightning strike destroyed a tree, and a tornado forms behind

Why So Many?

Despite all of the devastation and damage that tornadoes cause, they’re an expected aspect of life to much of the United States. Florida is a hotspot in and of itself, and people still freely retire there knowing they will experience hurricanes, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms almost routinely. The United States averages out 1,250 twisters a year, and the closest runner up is in Canada, at 100 tornadoes a year. The number is frighteningly different, which has been noted by many weather agencies and sparked a lot of research. The National Severe Storms Laboratory has done research on the Rocky Mountains and Gulf of Mexico. They believe it to be the reason we have so many tornadoes. In a way, these factors contribute in addition to the geological factors to create severe storms that would create tornado situations:

  1. The humid air and low altitude in areas surrounding, (respectively of course)
  2. The air at a high altitude is cool and dry, creating a conflict within the atmosphere 
  3. The wind comes in from a horizontal angle, change direction due to the geology affecting the current, and collides with winds from the west 

The National Severe Storms Laboratory also states that we meet three key ingredients of this in these ways:

1. Winds out of the South bring warm, moist air from the Gulf at low levels over the eastern half of the United States.2. Winds out of the West bring air over the Rocky Mountains and High Desert of the Southwest, making that air dry and cool aloft.3. Because of the Earth’s rotation, the winds are almost always aloft coming out of the West.

Lightning strike in a thunderstorm, purple clouds

The Future Of Weather Technology

Unfortunately, this leaves places like Oklahoma, Kansas which large swaths of flat land commonly misunderstood. It’s actually just the weather systems and the unfortunate location of confronting the environment in a way that leads to a lot of devastation  Some scientists believe that these severe storms and tornadoes actually play a part in leveling out the land, rather than the other way around which is what most people thing. Whatever the case, we encourage more people in the United States to purchase Safe Rooms. Tornadoes are a big factor for our safe room sales, but they double as plenty more.