The term was first used in 1952 as the title of a research project to study severe weather in areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, South Dakota, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, and Minnesota. It is largely a media-driven term although tornado climatologists distinguish peaks in activity in certain areas and storm chasers have long recognized the Great Plains tornado belt.
States such as Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and western Ohio are sometimes included in Tornado Alley. Research suggests that tornadoes are becoming more frequent in the northern parts of Tornado Alley where it reaches the Canadian prairies.
Over the years, the location(s) of Tornado Alley have not been clearly defined. No definition of tornado alley has ever been officially designated by the National Weather Service (NWS). Thus, differences in location are the result of the different criteria used.
According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) FAQ, "Tornado Alley" is a term used by the media as a reference to areas that have higher numbers of tornadoes. A study of 1921–1995 tornadoes concluded almost one-fourth of all significant tornadoes occur in this area.
Although the official boundaries of Tornado Alley are not clearly defined, its core extends from northern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, into South Dakota. States such as Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and western Ohio are sometimes included in Tornado Alley. Some research suggests that tornadoes are becoming more frequent in the northern parts of Tornado Alley where it reaches the Canadian prairies.
No state is entirely free of tornadoes; however, they occur more frequently in the Central United States, between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains. Texas reports the most tornadoes of any state, but that is a function of its large size, and its location on the southern end of Tornado Alley. Kansas and Oklahoma ranked first and second respectively in the number of tornadoes per area, per data collected through 2007, however in 2013 statistics from the National Climatic Data Center show Florida ranked first. Although Florida reports a high number and density of tornado occurrences, tornadoes there rarely reach the strength of those that sometimes occur in the Southern Plains. Regionally, the frequency of tornadoes in the United States is closely tied with the progression of the warm season when warm and cold air masses often clash.
Another criterion for the location of Tornado Alley (or Tornado Alleys) can be where the strongest tornadoes occur more frequently.
Tornado Alley can also be defined as an area reaching from central Texas to the Canadian prairies and from eastern Colorado to western Pennsylvania.
It has also been asserted that there are numerous Tornado Alleys. In addition to the Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas core, such areas include the Upper Midwest, the lower Ohio Valley, the Tennessee Valley and the lower Mississippi valley. Some studies suggest that there are also smaller tornado alleys located across the United States.
The tornado alleys in the southeastern U.S., notably the lower Mississippi Valley and the upper Tennessee Valley, are sometimes called by the nickname "Dixie Alley", coined in 1971 by Allen Pearson, former director of the National Severe Storms Forecasting Center (NSSFC). A 2018 study found in the U.S., over the study period 1979-2017, an overall eastward shift of tornado frequency and impacts - toward Dixie Alley. The study found, since 1979, relatively-lower tornado frequency and impacts in parts of the traditional Tornado Alley, especially areas from north-central Texas toward the Houston, TX area, and relatively-higher tornado frequency and impacts in parts of the Mid-South, especially eastern Arkansas, the greater Memphis, TN area and northern Mississippi - all areas near the heart of Dixie Alley - see especially Figure 4.
In Tornado Alley, warm, humid air from the equator meets cool to cold, dry air from Canada and the Rocky Mountains. This creates an ideal environment for tornadoes to form within developed thunderstorms and super cells.
The term "tornado alley" was first used in 1952 by U.S. Air Force meteorologists Major Ernest J. Fawbush (1915–1982) and Captain Robert C. Miller (1920–1998) as the title of a research project to study severe weather in parts of Texas and Oklahoma.
Despite the elevated frequency of destructive tornadoes, building codes, such as requiring strengthened roofs and more secure connections between the building and its foundation, are not necessarily stricter compared to other areas of the United States and are markedly weaker than some hurricane prone areas such as south Florida. One particular tornado-afflicted town, Moore, Oklahoma, managed to increase its building requirements in 2014. Other common precautionary measures include the construction of storm cellars, and the installation of tornado sirens. Tornado awareness, preparedness, and media weather coverage are also high.
The southeastern United States is particularly prone to violent, long track tornadoes. Much of the housing in this region is less robust compared to other areas in the United States, and many people live in mobile homes. As a result, tornado-related casualties in the southern United States are particularly higher. Significant tornadoes occur less frequently than in the traditionally recognized tornado alley, however, very severe and expansive outbreaks occur every few years.
The average tornado only stays on ground for 5 minutes. These figures, reported by the National Climatic Data Center for the period between 1991 and 2010, show the seventeen U.S. states with the highest average number of tornadoes per 10,000 square miles (25,899.9 km2) per year.
After the U.S., Canada gets the most tornadoes in the world. The average number of tornadoes per 3,900 square miles or 10,000 km2 is highest in the southern parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, as well as Southern Ontario. Northern Ontario between the Manitoba border and the Lake Superior lakehead is also prone to severe tornadoes, but tornadoes in this area are believed to be underestimated due to the extremely low population in this region.
Roughly half of all Canadian tornadoes strike the Canadian prairies and Northern Ontario as far east as Lake Superior. Together, these regions make up the northernmost border of the U.S. Tornado Alley. Tornadoes up to EF5 in strength have been documented in this region.
Another third of Canadian tornadoes strike Southern Ontario, especially in the region halfway between the Great Lakes from Lake St. Clair to Ottawa. This happens because tornadoes in this region are triggered or augmented by lake breeze fronts from Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and Georgian Bay. Tornadoes do not often hit lake shadow regions, although they are not unknown, and some, such as the 2011 Goderich, Ontario tornado, have been violent. However, most Ontario tornadoes are concentrated in a narrow corridor from Windsor and Sarnia through London, and then northeast to Barrie and Ottawa. Tornadoes up to EF4 in strength have been documented in this region.
Southwestern Ontario weather is strongly influenced by its peninsular position between the Great Lakes. As a result, increases in temperature in this region are likely to increase the amount of precipitation in storms due to lake evaporation. Increased temperature contrasts may also increase the violence and possibly the number of tornadoes.
The Bartibog River (also spelled Bartibogue) is a tributary of the Miramichi River in New Brunswick, Canada.
The Bartibog River rises in northeastern Northumberland County and flows east and south into the Miramichi River at the local service district of Oak Point-Bartibog Bridge.
The Bartibog River watershed is entirely rural, dominated by forests and small farms in the communities of Oak Point-Bartibog Bridge, Lower Newcastle-Russellville, Bartibog, and Bartibog Station. Below Russellville the river is tidal.
The promontory on the east bank of the Bartibogue where it meets the Miramichi is called Moody's Point. It is the location of one of the oldest Roman Catholic Churches in the Miramichi Valley, Sts Peter and Paul's, dating from the 1850s.
The lower stretches of the Bartibogue were settled by people from Scotland, arriving from the 1780s onward. They were of mixed Catholic and Presbyterian background. A number of Irish families and several Acadian families settled later.
The Bartibogue River along with the area in general has been known to be a hot spot for tornadoes, often being referred to as the "tornado alley" of New Brunswick.Canada Tornado Alley
The Canadian Tornado Alley(s) is a term describing a tornado-prone region in Canada. In Canada, the word is rarely used when compared to that of the United States where their "Tornado Alley" is largely a media-driven term.Although the official boundaries of the Canadian Tornado Alleys are not clearly defined, its core extends from Central Alberta through Saskatchewan, Southern Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. A second tornado alley extends from Michigan to Central Ontario and from Central Ontario to Southwestern Quebec. The Canadian Prairies are often considered part of the United States tornado alley.Climate of Alabama
The state of Alabama is classified as humid subtropical (Cfa) under the Köppen climate classification. The state's average annual temperature is 64 °F (18 °C). Temperatures tend to be warmer in the state's southern portion with its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, while its northern portions, especially in the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast, tend to be slightly cooler. Alabama generally has very hot summers and mild winters with copious precipitation throughout the year. The state receives an average of 56 inches (1,400 mm) of rainfall each year and experiences a lengthy growing season of up to 300 days in its southern portion. Hailstorms occur occasionally during the spring and summer here, but they are seldom destructive. Heavy fogs are rare, and they are confined chiefly to the coast. Thunderstorms also occur year-around. They are most common in the summer, but they are most commonly severe during the spring (i.e. March through May) and late autumn (i.e. November). That is when destructive winds and tornadoes occur frequently, especially in the northern and central parts of the state. Central and northern Alabama are squarely within Dixie Alley, the primary area in the U.S. outside the Southern Plains (i.e. the traditional Tornado Alley) with relatively high tornado risk. Alabama is ranked second in the U.S for the deadliest tornadoes. Hurricanes are quite common in the state, especially in the southern part. Major hurricanes occasionally strike the coast, such as Hurricane Frederic in September 1979 and Hurricane Ivan in September 2004; both storms resulted in significant to devastating damage in the Mobile area.Climate of Dallas
The city of Dallas has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfa) that is characteristic of the Southern Plains of the United States. Dallas experiences distinct four seasons with mild winters and hot summers.
During the winter season, daytime highs above 65 °F (18 °C) are not unusual. On the other hand, a couple of times each year, warm and humid air from the south overrides cold, dry air, leading to freezing rain, which often causes major disruptions in the city if the roads and highways become slick. Due to the city's location inland from the Gulf Coast, the city's climate is mildly continental: it is characterized by a relatively wide annual temperature range, as well as significant weather variations in a given month.
Spring and autumn bring pleasant weather to the area. Vibrant wildflowers (such as the bluebonnet, Indian paintbrush and other flora) bloom in spring and are planted around the highways throughout Texas. Springtime weather can be quite volatile, but temperatures themselves are mild. The weather in Dallas is also generally pleasant between late September and early December, and unlike springtime, major storms rarely form in the area.
In the spring, cool fronts moving south from Canada collide with warm, humid air streaming in from the Gulf Coast. When these fronts meet over north central Texas, severe thunderstorms are generated with spectacular lightning shows, torrents of rain, hail, and occasionally, tornadoes (Dallas is located at the lower-end of the Tornado Alley). The U.S. Department of Agriculture places Dallas in Plant Hardiness Zone 8a.Summers are hot, with temperatures approaching those of desert and semidesert locations of similar latitude. Heat waves can be severe. During the summer, the region receives warm and dry winds from the north and west. The city's all-time recorded high temperature is 113 °F (45 °C) during the Heat Wave of 1980, while the all-time recorded low is −8 °F (−22 °C) 1899. The average daily low in Dallas is 57.1 °F (13.9 °C) and the average daily high in Dallas is 76.7 °F (24.8 °C). Dallas receives approximately 37.1 inches (942 mm) of equivalent rain per year.Dead City Radio
Dead City Radio is a musical album by Beat Generation author William S. Burroughs, which was released by Island Records in 1990. It was dedicated to Keith Haring.
The CD is a collection of readings by Burroughs set to a broad range of musical compositions. It was produced by Hal Willner and Nelson Lyon, with musical accompaniment from John Cale, Donald Fagen, Lenny Pickett, Chris Stein, and alternative rock band Sonic Youth, among others. Although not Burroughs' first album—he released his first spoken word album Call Me Burroughs in the 1960s and was a fixture on the Giorno Poetry Systems collections of the 1970s and 1980s—this was the first release to receive wide public attention.
Most of the recordings of Burroughs readings were made at his home in Lawrence, Kansas between December 12 and 15 1988, with further recordings taking place on June 24, 1989. The music was added at a later date. During these sessions Burroughs was captured singing the German standard "Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe eingestellt" (Falling in Love Again), a song associated with Marlene Dietrich. This recording was included as a bonus track and is the only commercially available track as of 2012 to depict the author actually singing.
The material performed by Burroughs on the album included excerpts from some of his famous works such as Naked Lunch, as well as a couple of items from his 1989 short story collection Tornado Alley. The track "Kill the Badger!" is an excerpt from Burroughs' novella The Cat Inside. A music video was created Burroughs' reading of "A Thanksgiving Prayer" (a poem from Tornado Alley); the reading (like the book from which it came) is dedicated to John Dillinger. Burroughs prefaces his reading of the short story "Where He Was Going" with a brief discussion of its inspiration and origins. The brief narrative "Brion Gysin's All-Purpose Bedtime Story" is taken from Ghost of Chance, a novella Burroughs would publish in 1991.
Several tracks include Burroughs discussing elements of Christianity and The Bible in a conversational style, and one track has Burroughs reciting the Sermon on the Mount while adding editorial comment.
The track "Ah Pook the Destroyer" was later used as the soundtrack for the acclaimed animated short film Ah Pook Is Here. Burroughs' song "Falling in Love Again" plays over the closing credits of the film.Dixie Alley
Dixie Alley is a nickname sometimes given to areas of the southern United States that are particularly vulnerable to strong or violent tornadoes. This is distinct from the better known Tornado Alley and has a high frequency of strong, long-track tornadoes that move at higher speeds (50+ miles per hour). The term was coined by NSSFC Director Allen Pearson after witnessing a tornado outbreak which included more than 9 long-track, violent tornadoes that killed 121 on February 21, 1971. The specific characteristics of the Southeast led to VORTEX-SE, a field project studying tornadogenesis, diagnosis and forecasting, in addition to social science implications, and examines both supercellular tornadoes and those resulting from quasi-linear convective system (QLCS) thunderstorm structures.Eric Nguyen
Eric Michael Nguyen (January 2, 1978 – September 9, 2007) was an American professional storm chaser, meteorologist, and photographer from Keller, Texas, United States. In 2008 Nguyen released his first book of photography titled Adventures in Tornado Alley: The Storm Chasers with co-author Mike Hollingshead.Historical Miniatures Gaming Society
The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society (HMGS) is an organization dedicated to war gaming.KACY
KACY (102.5 FM) is a radio station licensed in Arkansas City, Kansas, United States, broadcasting a classic hits format. The station is owned by Tornado Alley Communications, LLC.Mike Hollingshead
Mike Hollingshead is an American professional storm chaser, photographer and videographer from Blair, Nebraska. His work has been covered by NPR, numerous photography magazines and websites, and on the cover of National Geographic. It is also featured in films and television, such as Take Shelter, The Fifth Estate, and the series finale of Dexter. In 2008 Hollingshead released his first book titled Adventures in Tornado Alley: The Storm Chasers with co-author Eric Nguyen.Some of his photographs have been circulated by e-mail without his permission and without giving him credit or payment, in some cases misidentified as being of Hurricane Katrina. He now adds a digital watermark to his photographs to discourage this.Mike McShaffry
Mike McShaffry is a video game programmer, entrepreneur and author. he graduated from the University of Houston and began his video game industry career working for Origin Systems in 1990. He worked on titles such as Martian Dreams, Ultima VII: The Black Gate, Ultima VIII: Pagan, Ultima IX: Ascension and Ultima Online. In 1997 he formed his own company Tornado Alley. He has since worked at Glass Eye Entertainment, producing Microsoft Casino.Oklahoma Victory Dolls
The Oklahoma Victory Dolls (OVD) is a women's flat track roller derby league based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Founded in 2007, the league currently consists of two inter-league teams which compete against teams from other leagues. They formerly had four home teams that competed against each other. Oklahoma Victory Dolls is a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).Sean Casey (filmmaker)
Sean Cameron Casey (born December 28, 1967) is an American IMAX filmmaker and storm chaser who appeared in the Discovery Channel reality television series Storm Chasers. Casey created an IMAX film called Tornado Alley about chasing tornadoes and had to build the Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV) and the Tornado Intercept Vehicle 2 (TIV2) to film inside a tornado.Tornado Alley was released worldwide on March 18, 2011. Casey has been named one of the 50 best minds of 2008 by Discover Magazine.Storm Chasers (TV series)
Storm Chasers is an American documentary reality television series that premiered on October 17, 2007, on the Discovery Channel. Produced by Original Media, the program follows several teams of storm chasers as they attempt to intercept tornadoes in Tornado Alley in the United States. The show was canceled at the end of its 5th season by Discovery Communications on January 21, 2012.Storm cellar
A storm shelter or storm cellar is a type of underground bunker designed to protect the occupants from violent severe weather, particularly tornadoes. They are most frequently seen in the Midwest ("Tornado Alley") and Southeastern United States where tornadoes are generally frequent and the low water table permits underground structures.Tornado
A tornado is a rapidly rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the Earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. The windstorm is often referred to as a twister, whirlwind or cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology to name a weather system with a low-pressure area in the center around which, from an observer looking down toward the surface of the earth, winds blow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern. Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, and they are often visible in the form of a condensation funnel originating from the base of a cumulonimbus cloud, with a cloud of rotating debris and dust beneath it. Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than 110 miles per hour (180 km/h), are about 250 feet (80 m) across, and travel a few miles (several kilometers) before dissipating. The most extreme tornadoes can attain wind speeds of more than 300 miles per hour (480 km/h), are more than two miles (3 km) in diameter, and stay on the ground for dozens of miles (more than 100 km).Various types of tornadoes include the multiple vortex tornado, landspout, and waterspout. Waterspouts are characterized by a spiraling funnel-shaped wind current, connecting to a large cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud. They are generally classified as non-supercellular tornadoes that develop over bodies of water, but there is disagreement over whether to classify them as true tornadoes. These spiraling columns of air frequently develop in tropical areas close to the equator and are less common at high latitudes. Other tornado-like phenomena that exist in nature include the gustnado, dust devil, fire whirl, and steam devil.
Tornadoes occur most frequently in North America, particularly in central and southeastern regions of the United States colloquially known as tornado alley, as well as in Southern Africa, northwestern and southeast Europe, western and southeastern Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh and adjacent eastern India, and southeastern South America. Tornadoes can be detected before or as they occur through the use of Pulse-Doppler radar by recognizing patterns in velocity and reflectivity data, such as hook echoes or debris balls, as well as through the efforts of storm spotters.
There are several scales for rating the strength of tornadoes. The Fujita scale rates tornadoes by damage caused and has been replaced in some countries by the updated Enhanced Fujita Scale. An F0 or EF0 tornado, the weakest category, damages trees, but not substantial structures. An F5 or EF5 tornado, the strongest category, rips buildings off their foundations and can deform large skyscrapers. The similar TORRO scale ranges from a T0 for extremely weak tornadoes to T11 for the most powerful known tornadoes. Doppler radar data, photogrammetry, and ground swirl patterns (trochoidal marks) may also be analyzed to determine intensity and assign a rating.Tornado Alley (book)
Tornado Alley is a collection of short stories and one poem by Beat Generation author William S. Burroughs, written during the later years of his career and first published in 1989. The first edition of the book included illustrations by S. Clay Wilson.
Notable pieces in the collection include the poem "Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986" and the crime melodrama "Where He Was Going", both of which are read by Burroughs on his album Dead City Radio. According to Burroughs in his spoken introduction to "Where He Was Going" on the album, the latter was inspired by Ernest Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" with the title a quotation from the earlier story. A music video for "Thanksgiving Day" was also produced to promote its inclusion on the album.
The collection is dedicated to John Dillinger, "in hope that he is still alive". Burroughs recites this dedication at the start of his Dead City Radio recording of the "Thanksgiving Day" poem.Tornado outbreak
A tornado outbreak is the occurrence of multiple tornadoes spawned by the same synoptic scale weather system. The number of tornadoes required to qualify as an outbreak typically are at least six to ten.The tornadoes usually occur within the same day, or continue into the early morning hours of the succeeding day, and within the same region. Most definitions allow for a break in tornado activity (time elapsed from the end of last tornado to the beginning of next tornado) of six hours. If tornado activity indeed resumes after such a lull, many definitions consider the event to be a new outbreak. A series of continuous or nearly continuous tornado outbreak days is a tornado outbreak sequence. Tornado outbreaks usually occur from March through June in the Great Plains of the United States and Canada, the Midwestern United States, and the Southeastern United States in an area colloquially referred to as Tornado Alley. Tornado outbreaks do occur during other times of the year and in other parts of the world, however. A secondary less active and annually inconsistent tornado "season" in the U.S. occurs in late autumn.The largest tornado outbreak on record was the 2011 Super Outbreak, with 362 tornadoes and about $10 billion in direct damages. It surpasses the 1974 Super Outbreak, in which 148 tornadoes were counted. Both occurred within the United States and Canada. The total number of tornadoes is a problematic method of comparing outbreaks from different periods, however, as many more smaller tornadoes, but not stronger tornadoes, are reported in the US in recent decades than in previous ones due to improvements in tornado detection.