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Has “Tornado Alley” Moved East?


UNDATED (HPM) – This year has already been an active one for tornadoes, with multiple outbreaks across the Midwest and South at the end of March. But recent weather patterns seem to have shifted many of the twisters to the east of the Great Plains.

Over the past 40 years, storm researchers have documented a steady rise in the number of tornadoes forming in states east of the Mississippi River.

Victor Gensini is a professor of meteorology at Northern Illinois University who published a paper on the topic in 2018. He says updated figures from that research show the trend isn’t slowing down. “That increasing frequency along and east of the Mississippi River is incredibly important for society,”he said. “We are essentially more vulnerable as you move east because we have a greater population density, we have more assets, a bigger human exposure.”

Gensini says communities in the Midwest and south need to be prepared since it only takes a single tornado to cause massive damage.