Tornado Alley is an informal and common media term referring to a specific region or strip of a region within the United States that is plagued with the deadly destructive natural disasters known as tornado’s. This particular region issaid to be located in Central United States where the majority of tornado’s seem to touch down and wreak havoc. With that said no state within the United States is free from being terrorized by this form of Mother Nature’s wrath and the exact area of “tornado alley” is easily argued.
While there is no real definition behind the term “tornado alley”, there are several definitions as to how, what and why tornado’s tend to hit this particular area. One such reason that 90% of the tornado’s that occur in the United States occur throughout Central United States is the fact that cold dry air from the Rocky Mountains and Canada meet warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and hot dry air from the Sonoran Dessert. All these various climates and climate changes are said to combine with an unstable atmosphere which in turn produces severe thunderstorms.
The most commonly heard definition explaining tornado alley’s destructive path or its core region is from the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, eastern South Dakota and the Colorado Eastern Plains. However some will argue that the definition of tornado alley actually spans the region from Central Texas to the Canadian prairies and from eastern Colorado to western Pennsylvania. Some will argue to the fact that there are multiple tornado alley’s throughout the united states in addition to Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas the core others areas should be included as well like the Ohio Valley, the southern Great Lakes, the Tennessee Valley and the lower Mississippi Valley.
Truth is to be exact about the definition of tornado alley; it would really make up hundreds of little strips and not one large strip or alley. In fact there are several areas within tornado alley that have never been hit with a tornado. According to those who believe in the theory of there being several if not hundreds of smaller tornado alley’s there are only four main strips where the devastation from these storms is severe. These four alleys include south- central Mississippi, east-central to northeast Oklahoma, southeast Nebraska and an area from western Tennessee to northeast Mississippi and northern Alabama.
As you can see tornado alley is defined somewhat broadly and spans across a majority of central United States, with no clear region description.