(WKBN) — It is Ohio severe weather safety awareness week. The threat for severe weather will increase as the spring season develops as warmer temperatures move in with strong storm systems.
This is the time of the year that we start thinking about severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
How many tornadoes each year in Ohio and Pennsylvania?
Ohio and Pennsylvania are both states that get a number of tornadoes each year.
Ohio averages 22 tornadoes per year and Pennsylvania averages 18 tornadoes per year.
The number of tornadoes per state increases as you look into the middle of the country across Tornado Alley and Dixie Alley.
Why does tornado alley have more tornadoes?
This increase is caused by a larger number of days per year that storm systems create powerful dynamics and shear that can tap into the warm moist air in the lower atmosphere.
The terrain of the land and the interaction of colder air off of the higher regions of the Rockies use fuel (heat and humidity) in the lower terrain regions of the southeast plains to the Gulf of Mexico creating a perfect breeding ground for tornadoes.
A simple need for strong storms is that they feed on cold air up high, and warm air close to the ground to sustain their power. They also need wind shear. Wind shear is both an increase in wind speed with height known as speed shear and wind direction change with height known as directional shear.
Tornado Alley and Dixie Alley are the regions that allow this tornado-producing mixture to take place at a higher frequency.
A higher frequency of tornadoes across the country is centered in the mid to deep south, the highest number of fatalities each year is in Alabama with 14.
On average, one person is killed each year in Ohio by tornadoes. Pennsylvania averages less than one person each year.
So far this year, the U.S. tornado count is running above the annual trend.
When do tornadoes peak in Ohio and Pennsylvania?
The risk for tornadoes in Ohio and Pennsylvania increases through the spring and into summer.
Late May into early June, on average, is the highest frequency of tornadoes for Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
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