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Violent U.S. Tornadoes: 1962-2011

Quincy

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blog-0284589001428285045.pngOver a 50-year span from 1962 to 2011, the most violent (F/EF-4 and F/EF-5) tornadoes occurred over Oklahoma and Mississippi. The maximum grid-points reported 16 over that period, with two of those grid-points in central Oklahoma and one in central Mississippi.

While a broad area from the Plains to the mid-South sees the most tornadoes overall across the United States, there are three sub-areas with the most violent tornadoes. Much of Oklahoma falls into that category, as it is widely considered to be in the heart of tornado alley. Further north into Iowa is another area that has seen the most violent tornadoes during the period. The third area falls across Mississippi, where the tornado season is relatively elongated from the heart of winter into mid-Spring. The tornado season in Oklahoma generally occurs in a narrower window in mid-Spring. The season in Iowa tends to fall from mid to late spring with a secondary peak in the fall. A smaller and less significant maximum for violent tornadoes can also be identified across the upper Ohio Valley. While the tornado season tends to peak there in mid-Spring, a few events have also occurred in the fall.

An interesting tornado minimum occurs in a small portion of central Missouri. Among multiple factors is the unique geographical area Missouri falls into. The classic tornado setup in the Plains is driven largely by lee-side cyclogenesis and the dryline. As storm systems move across the Plains, the bulk of the violent tornadoes tend to occur west and northwest of Missouri. Also, the dryline tends to have trouble advancing enough east to penetrate far into Missouri. Likewise, typical tornado events in the mid-South tend to thrive off of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, producing tornadoes east of Missouri. With that said, higher instances of violent tornadoes have been noted across northwestern Missouri (tornado alley), far southeastern portions of the state (Dixie alley) and the devestating EF-5 tornado in Joplin, in far southwestern Missouri in 2011.

East of the Appalachians, violent tornadoes are fairly uncommon. However, two particular regions have reported three or more violent tornadoes from 1962 to 2011. Portions of the Carolinas fall into that category. Further north, grid-points in the mid-Hudson Valley into southwestern New England have reported four violent tornadoes in that same span.

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Most interesting is that i expected some tiny "green" (lower scale violent) in Florida and less than Florida north of me in ESE NYS/Conn/Westerm Mass. for an almost 50 yr period.

 

Wondering is there is a grid-graph for recorded durations broken into 15second segments, eg. 15s, 30s, 45s, 1min, 75s etc.

 

Thank You for the very interesting blogbyte and informative grid.

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Most interesting is that i expected some tiny "green" (lower scale violent) in Florida and less than Florida north of me in ESE NYS/Conn/Westerm Mass. for an almost 50 yr period.

 

Wondering is there is a grid-graph for recorded durations broken into 15second segments, eg. 15s, 30s, 45s, 1min, 75s etc.

 

Thank You for the very interesting blogbyte and informative grid.

The feedback is appreciated!

 

Violent tornadoes in Florida are actually quite rare, even though they do see a large number of weak tornadoes on a fairly regular basis.

 

United States Tornadoes has another graphic showing violent tornadoes over a similar, but somewhat longer time scale:
violent-tornadoes-f4-ef4-and-f5-ef5-in-t

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