May 28, 2019

The states where the most tornadoes hit

A tornado touches down in Kansas in 2016. Photo: Jason Weingart/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

With an average of 1,253 tornadoes per year, the United States experiences more tornadoes than any other country in the world by a fairly large margin, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

By the numbers: Texas saw the highest average annual number of tornadoes between 1991-2010 with 155, per a NOAA analysis.

  • While a tornado can happen almost anywhere in the world, the middle latitudes between 30° and 50° North or South are the most favorable.

According to NOAA's list, which shows the average yearly number of tornadoes from 1991 through 2010, almost every state averaged at least 1 tornado per year, but midwestern states overwhelmingly saw higher averages.

  • 155: Texas
  • 96: Kansas
  • 66: Florida
  • 62: Oklahoma
  • 57: Nebraska
  • 54: Illinois
  • 53: Colorado
  • 51: Iowa
  • 45: Minnesota, Missouri
  • 44: Alabama
  • 43: Mississippi
  • 39: Arkansas
  • 37: Louisiana
  • 36: South Dakota
  • 32: North Dakota
  • 31: North Carolina
  • 30: Georgia
  • 27: South Carolina
  • 26: Tennessee
  • 24: Wisconsin
  • 22: Indiana
  • 21: Kentucky
  • 19: Ohio
  • 18: Virginia
  • 16: Michigan, Pennsylvania
  • 12: Wyoming
  • 11: California, New Mexico
  • 10: Maryland, Montana, New York
  • 5: Arizona, Idaho
  • 3: Oregon, Utah, Washington
  • 2: Connecticut, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, West Virginia
  • 1: Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont
  • 0: Alaska, Rhode Island

The big picture: The two areas of the U.S. that suffer from a disproportionately high number of tornadoes is Florida and an area in Southeast dubbed "Dixie Alley," as well as the area in the Central U.S. known as "Tornado Alley." While there's no agreed upon boundaries for Tornado Alley, most count parts of states like Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and South Dakota within it.

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