Tornado Alley? More Like Tornado Highway
It’s been a bad week for tornadoes in our country. With at least 17 twisters reported across the country from California to Kentucky, resulting in at least four injuries and property destruction, peak tornado season is in full swing.
Extremely dangerous and very difficult to predict, tornadoes tend to hit most frequently between the months of April and July, but they can strike any place at any time, with little warning, bringing fierce winds, damaging hail, and floodwaters with them. (If you’re anything like us, you just had a sudden urge to make sure you’re properly covered for property damage.)
Not-so-fun fact: the U.S. has more tornadoes than anywhere else in the world, averaging more than 1,000 per year. Canada is a distant second, with around 100 per year.
Last year, 1,177 tornadoes touched down across the U.S., primarily in two regions: Florida, which has almost daily thunderstorms, and “Tornado Alley” in the south-central United States. Meteorologically, Tornado Alley is ideally situated for the formation of supercell thunderstorms, often the producers of violent tornadoes. This NOAA map gives you a pretty clear picture of where tornadoes have been reported over the last 75 years.
If you’re a devotee of “weather news” and and/or a storm chaser, you’ll appreciate the efforts of USTornadoes.com, which is producing the first-ever real-time tornado-tracking database. (The U.S. government doesn’t release its official tornado tabulation until a year after the season started.) So far, we are trending below average for year-to-date reports, but things could change in an instant.
On that note, we recommend spending some time on FEMA’s website, where you can find a plethora of resources on what to do before, during, and after a tornado, as well as a step-by-step guide to property protection.
We wish you a safe and wholly uneventful tornado season.