Somewhere between the ancient peaks of the Appalachian Mountains and the ice caps of the Canadian Rockies lies “tornado alley,” a weather corridor exceptionally susceptible to these violent weather events.
Every spring and summer, when warm air from the equator meets cold air from the north, residents of the Great Plains in Central America face the challenge of hurricane season: Spinning columns of 300 mph winds They appear without warning and level entire cities, launch cars into the air and turn the debris of their destruction into deadly missiles.
A few days ago, a town in the center of this danger zone took a direct hit: on Thursday night, June 15, a tornado ripped through Perryton, Texas. 75 people were injured and 3 people were killed.
A recent study suggests that Similar incidents will become more common in the United States.
While the central states currently see more cyclones than anywhere else, in the near future, the country’s southeast is the main danger zone.
truly, The “tornado corridor” is expanding.
Origin of Tornado Corridor
“Tornado Corridor” is not a scientific expression. It was invented by two US Air Force meteorologists in the 1950s to indicate severe weather in Texas and Oklahoma.
The The limits of this area vary greatlyAnd some maps say it extends as far north as the Dakotas and as far south as Illinois and Indiana.
However, it is generally similar Great Plains and generally includes states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas.
The classic children’s story “The Wizard of Oz,” in which (warning warning) is no coincidence. Spoilers) A tornado uproots Dorothy’s lonely farmhouse and moves it with extraordinary care, set in Kansas.
America registers few 1,200 hurricanes each yearit is a An average of 71 deaths and hundreds or billions of dollars in damage.
Most, if not all, occur in the path of a hurricane.
In late March and early April, a series of typhoons swept through the center and southeast of the country, forcing residents to take shelter behind mattresses, inside toilets and even bathtubs (a couple took refuge in his room when he woke up. Maidan).
Tornado corridor expands
Last year, scientists at the City University of New York reported an unexpected development. Cyclone Corridor, its dubious geographic perimeter, is migrating.
Between the 1950s and 1980s, these weather events mostly respected traditionally accepted limits.
But in the past three decades, the country has undergone sea change, researchers have found, with greater frequency from hurricanes to the southeast and hundreds of miles away. Dixie RunnerA region of the southern United States with a history of particularly violent hurricanes.
Today it is believed Tornadoes may occur less frequently in the Great PlainsAccording to another article.
At the same time, a great typhoon erupted Most common in Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
It is unclear why this shift occurred in a southeasterly direction.
Researchers at the City University of New York suggested that it may be a combination of local conditions, such as warmer temperatures and the impact of hurricanes, that have been temporarily linked to hurricanes in the past.
This raises the question of whether climate change is partly to blame.
Why do hurricanes form?
Most hurricanes “Supercells“: Vast gray discs of clouds hover over the landscape like alien spaceships.
Often they manifest as normal thunderstorms, fed by warm, moist currents from the ground.
But sometimes these columns of air start rotating and form an invisible tube of horizontally rotating air.
No one knows why, but these “tilt” and create them Vertical spirals of destruction We know hurricanes.
Because tornadoes thrive in heat, it is believed that climate change may increase their frequency in some areas, perhaps even in the southeastern United States, which has yet to be studied.
However, the link between these extreme weather events and climate change is complex and the science is far from certain.
There is also little evidence that hurricanes have become more common in general.
Apparently the “tornado corridor” is moving, but why this is happening and where it will end up remains to be seen.
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