The United States has more tornadoes occur every year than in any other place in the world, and these are the ten states where a tornado is most likely to occur. Statistics are based upon the average number of tornadoes per 10,000 square miles per year. A tornado is one of the most violent and dangerous weather events that occurs when a rotating column of air comes into contact with the earth occurring when warm and cold weather patterns merge generally with thunderstorms.
Most tornadoes will have wind speeds less than 100 miles per hour and will dissipate within a mile or two but a really bad tornado can reach wind speeds of 300 miles per hour and travel for dozens of miles. Tornadoes can wreak havoc and cause great property damage and fatalities and are scary weather occurrences and these are the ten states where a tornado is most likely to occur.
1) Florida – 9.4 tornadoes per 10,000 square miles
Florida is not located in the so called Tornado Alley but still receives more tornadoes than any other state in the United States per 10,000 square miles. However most of the tornadoes in Florida never approach the wind speeds and violence of the ones that form in Tornado Alley. Also because Florida has a temperate climate a tornado can form in the state over a larger portion of the year and the Sunshine State has the most thunderstorms of any state in the country.
2) Oklahoma – 8.2
Oklahoma is right in the heart of Tornado Alley and sees 8.2 tornadoes per 10,000 square miles per year. Weather patterns in Oklahoma frequently bring warm and cool air together which is ideal for tornado formation. People living in the Sooner State are accustomed to frequent tornado warnings.
3) Kansas – 6.7
Kansas is probably the most famous tornado state in the United States because of the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy is whisked away to Oz by a violent spinning funnel of air.
4) Iowa – 6.6
Tornadoes mainly occur in the spring and summer months in Iowa which sees an average of about 50 thunderstorm activity days per year.
5) Illinois – 6.2
Most tornadoes in Illinois occur in the southern part of the state and in 1925 the deadliest tornado on record called the Tri-State Tornado killed 613 people in southern Illinois.
6) Indiana – 6.1
Indiana is another relatively flat state that sees its share of tornadoes even though it is not considered part of Tornado Alley. South Bend ranks as the 14th most tornado prone city in the country.
7) Mississippi – 5.7
Mississippi sees 5.7 tornadoes per 10,000 square miles and in 1840 the second deadliest tornado in history called the Great Natchez Tornado hit southwest Mississippi and killed 317 people.
8) Maryland – 5.7
Maryland is the only state in the northeast part of the country that makes this list.
9) Louisiana – 5.6
Louisiana has the 2nd most thunderstorms per year of any state so its no surprise it makes this list since tornadoes and thunderstorms go together.
10) Texas – 5.2
Texas actually averages the most tornadoes per year but since it is such a huge state it ranks 10th per 10,000 square miles.