Tornadoes tend to occur during late spring to early summer in the United States. During this time of year, conditions are ripe for producing tornadoes across an area called Tornado Alley.
By far, the United States produces the most tornadoes each year; about 1,200 tornadoes occur in the U.S. alone. When cold, dry air from the Arctic meets warm, moist air from the Gulf, conditions become favorable for the formation of tornadoes. The most dangerous tornadoes form from thunderstorms called supercells. Tornado Alley, which sees the most tornadoes in the world, stretches from central Texas northward to Iowa. Historically, Oklahoma City has been the city hit with the most tornadoes. Many tornadoes that occur in the United States do not cause damage because they are weak, ranging from a rating of EF-0 to EF-1.Learn More
According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, tornadoes can occur in most areas of the world, including the United States, Australia and Europe. In the United States, there are over 1,000 tornadoes annually.Full Answer >
Hailstorms occur anywhere thunderstorms do, but in the United States, they occur with the greatest frequency in the southern and central-plains states. "Hail alley," an area lying predominantly within the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming, is marked by the collision of warm moist air off the Gulf of Mexico and cold dry air from Canada.Full Answer >
Tornadoes are formed when warm air combines into storm clouds causing an updraft that mixes with a burst of colder air, which leads to rotation within the cloud. The down draft of cooler air causes the tornado to form, pulling more warm air from the ground. As the updraft strengthens, it mixes to create a spot of low pressure that pulls at the cloud's vortex and forms a funnel cloud.Full Answer >
The only significant similarity between tornadoes and hurricanes is that they both produce high-speed winds. Tornadoes form as the result of lingering strong vertical wind velocity and vertical temperature changes. Hurricanes form as the result of extended periods of weak vertical wind velocity and relatively low changes in atmospheric temperature.Full Answer >