Tornado Alley Facts

Are you looking to learn about the area or region commonly referred to as tornado alley? Then you've come to the right place! We put this section together to give students, teachers and/or tornado enthusiast as place to get tornado alley facts and information.

It's important to remember that the facts and information on this page are only specific to the United States. If you would like to see information added or would like to report inaccurate information please contact us.

  • The term tornado alley was first used in 1952. The term was used as the title of study done on severe weather in parts of Oklahoma and Texas. The study was by USAF meteorologists Ernest Fawbush and Robert Miller.
  • Tornado alley is term mostly used by the media to describe a region or area with a frequency of tornadoes. The National Weather Service and NOAA have never given an official definition to the term nor specified an actual area that is tornado alley.
  • Tornado alley, for reference purposes, is considered to be the southern plains area of the central United States. Tornadoes in this area typically occur in late spring.
  • The gulf coast area has its own tornado alley which is referred to the Dixie Alley. Tornadoes in this area typically occur in late fall.
  • Tornado alley is the region that is suitable for the production of supercell thunderstorms. Which can typically produce EF-2/F2 or greater tornadoes.
  • The criteria to be in tornado alley can vary and is based on the observers representation of what criteria is needed to be met to be in tornado alley.
  • While the actual regions that qualify as part of tornado alley are debatable, the region from central Texas, northward to northern Iowa, and from central Kansas and Nebraska east to western Ohio is often collectively known as Tornado Alley.
  • Building codes are often much stricter in areas designated as tornado alley to help prevent damage to property and loss of live.
  • Tornado alley is best described as the area where cold dry air, warm dry air and warm moist air clash, making it suitable of thunderstorm and tornado production.

Map of Tornado Alley

Tornado Alley Map

Above is a map of the area commonly known as tornado alley.