Actually, they never were. But many Americans still think of twisters as almost always occurring in “Tornado Alley” — an area that roughly includes Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
Mother Nature heartily cleared up this misconception between April 14 and 16, as scores of tornadoes ripped through the South, hitting North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Virginia the hardest.
In a separate storm on April 22, a tornado hit just north of St. Louis, peeling off a large section of roof from a concourse at Lambert International Airport. No one was killed.
The South is smack in the middle of its tornado season, according to University of Oklahoma meteorologist John Snow. The outbreak earlier this month was created when dry, cold air from the north, powered by a strong jet stream, collided with warm, humid air originating from the Gulf of Mexico and, as it traveled east, from the Atlantic Ocean.
Almost 300 reports of tornadoes were received during this month’s rampage through the South. But multiple witnesses reported the same one, and the National Weather Service is still figuring out exactly how many twisters occurred, Carbin says.