Tornadoes in Missouri are relatively common due to its location in the central United States within an area known as Tornado Alley. Missouri experiences an average of about 30 tornadoes per year, although the number can vary greatly from year to year.
The tornado season in Missouri typically lasts from March to August, with a peak in activity during the spring months. This is when warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico clashes with colder air from the north, creating the atmospheric conditions favorable for tornado formation.
The strength and severity of tornadoes in Missouri can vary, ranging from weak EF0 and EF1 tornadoes to powerful EF4 and EF5 tornadoes. EF0 tornadoes have estimated wind speeds between 65 and 85 mph, while EF5 tornadoes can produce wind speeds over 200 mph.
Some notable tornadoes in Missouri history include the Joplin tornado in 2011, which was an EF5 tornado that caused significant damage and killed 161 people, as well as the Great Natchez Tornado of 1840, the deadliest tornado in U.S. history, which affected both Missouri and Mississippi.
The path and intensity of tornadoes are highly unpredictable, making it vital for residents in Missouri to be prepared and have a plan in place in case of severe weather. The state has a well-established tornado warning system in place, including sirens, weather radio alerts, and mobile apps, to help alert people when tornadoes are approaching.
Despite the potential dangers, Missouri has made significant advancements in forecasting and warning systems, which has helped to save lives and reduce the severity of tornado-related injuries and damage. The state and its residents continue to work towards improving safety measures and preparedness to mitigate the impact of tornadoes.
How often does St. Louis get tornadoes?
St. Louis, Missouri, is located in a region known as "Tornado Alley," where tornado activity is relatively common. However, the frequency of tornadoes can vary from year to year. On average, St. Louis experiences about 12 tornadoes per year. The peak tornado season in the region generally spans from March to June, but tornadoes can occur at any time of the year. It is important for residents of St. Louis to stay aware and prepared during tornado season.
Is St. Louis, Missouri, in tornado alley?
Yes, St. Louis, Missouri, is generally considered to be part of tornado alley. Tornado alley is a region in the central United States where tornadoes are more frequently observed and tend to be more severe. It stretches from northern Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and into parts of Missouri and Iowa. While the exact boundaries of tornado alley are not well-defined, St. Louis is located in a region that experiences a higher frequency of tornado activity.
How much damage did the St. Louis tornado cause?
The St. Louis tornado that occurred on April 22, 2011, caused significant damage. It classified as an EF4 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, indicating winds between 166 and 200 mph (267 and 322 km/h). The tornado damaged or destroyed numerous buildings, homes, and infrastructure, leading to an estimated $1.1 billion in damages. The extent of the damage included uprooted trees, collapsed buildings, and widespread destruction throughout various neighborhoods in St. Louis and its surrounding areas.