Tornado Alley States 2019

Tornado Alley is the name commonly use for the corridor-shaped region in the United States Midwest that sees the most tornado activity. While it is not an official designation, states most commonly included are Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, and South Dakota.

Florida, while not geographically part of tornado alley, sees more tornados than any other state, especially when accounting for how large the state is. The following list, reported by the National Climatic Data Center shows the seventeen U.S. states with the highest average number of tornadoes per 10,000 sq. miles each year. Figures are for the years 1991 through 2010.

The average tornado only stays on ground for 5 minutes, and approximately 77% are considered between EF-0 and EF-1, with about 95% below EF-3. Only .01% of tornadoes reach the highest category of EF-5. Even so, they can cause many fatalities and significant property damage.

With information available as recently as 2013, tornadoes cause an average of 94-110 fatalities per year, depending on the source of data. Property damage caused by tornadoes is incredibly difficult to calculate, and as such, little current information about damages per state exists.

The best estimation we have about property damage is from insurance claims, and it is still unclear how much damage was caused by tornadoes rather than coterminous weather. On average, tornadoes cause about $6.5 billion in damages across the entire U.S., with peak years reaching close to $14.5 billion in damages. That average is increasing as tornadoes are incurring with increasing frequency each year.

The best information available on a per-state basis is twenty-five years old, the data can be extrapolated over the last two decades as tornado occurrences have increased.

DEFINITION: Total cost of damage from tornadoes during the period 1950 to 1994, in adjusted US dollars.

* Data is averaged from period 1991–2010.
State Average Annual Number of Tornadoes 2019 Pop.
Alaska0735,720
District of Columbia0711,571
Oklahoma03,948,950
Rhode Island01,056,738
Delaware1975,033
Hawaii11,416,589
Massachusetts16,939,373
New Hampshire11,363,852
Vermont1627,180
Connecticut23,567,871
Maine21,342,097
Nevada23,087,025
New Jersey28,922,547
West Virginia21,791,951
Oregon34,245,901
Utah33,221,610
Washington37,666,343
Arizona57,275,070
Idaho51,790,182
Maryland106,062,917
Montana101,074,532
New York1019,491,339
California1139,747,267
New Mexico112,096,034
Wyoming12572,381
Michigan1610,020,472
Pennsylvania1612,813,969
Virginia188,571,946
Ohio1911,718,568
Kentucky214,484,047
Indiana226,718,616
Wisconsin245,832,661
Tennessee266,833,793
South Carolina275,147,111
Georgia3010,627,767
North Carolina3110,497,741
North Dakota32760,900
South Dakota36892,631
Louisiana374,652,581
Arkansas393,026,412
Mississippi432,987,895
Alabama444,898,246
Minnesota455,655,925
Missouri456,147,861
Iowa513,167,997
Colorado535,770,545
Illinois5412,700,381
Nebraska571,940,919
Florida6621,646,155
Kansas962,910,931
Texas15529,087,070