Tornado Alley States 2020

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 2020 Pop.
Alaska0734,002
District of Columbia0720,687
Oklahoma03,954,821
Rhode Island01,056,161
Delaware1982,895
Hawaii11,412,687
Massachusetts16,976,597
New Hampshire11,371,246
Vermont1628,061
Connecticut23,563,077
Maine21,345,790
Nevada23,139,658
New Jersey28,936,574
West Virginia21,778,070
Oregon34,301,089
Utah33,282,115
Washington37,797,095
Arizona57,378,494
Idaho51,826,156
Maryland106,083,116
Montana101,086,759
New York1019,440,469
California1139,937,489
New Mexico112,096,640
Wyoming12567,025
Michigan1610,045,029
Pennsylvania1612,820,878
Virginia188,626,207
Ohio1911,747,694
Kentucky214,499,692
Indiana226,745,354
Wisconsin245,851,754
Tennessee266,897,576
South Carolina275,210,095
Georgia3010,736,059
North Carolina3110,611,862
North Dakota32761,723
South Dakota36903,027
Louisiana374,645,184
Arkansas393,038,999
Mississippi432,989,260
Alabama444,908,621
Minnesota455,700,671
Missouri456,169,270
Iowa513,179,849
Colorado535,845,526
Illinois5412,659,682
Nebraska571,952,570
Florida6621,992,985
Kansas962,910,357
Texas15529,472,295