One story that I missed posting about earlier this summer is a new climatological study showing that the area where the most tornadoes occurs is shifting east from the traditional Tornado Alley in Oklahoma and the Southern Plains towards the Southeast. Scientists aren’t sure why this is occurring but link it to a movement of drier air from west to east and an increase in water vapor in the Southeast that fuels the development of supercell thunderstorms that form tornadoes.

To be clear, there are still a lot more tornadoes in the Plains than in the Southeast, but there are fewer storms there than there were in the past, and there are more tornadoes in the Southeast than there were in the past, especially in Mississippi and Alabama. The change in the numbers is enough to allow the migration of the center of storm development about 500 miles towards us in the Southeast. You can read more about how tornadoes form and how the distribution of tornadoes has changed over time at Scientific American here.

Source: NOAA