Tornado outbreaks are moving from Texas and Oklahoma toward Tennessee and Kentucky,
from the 1950s through the 1990s they struck most often in Tornado Alley, an oval area centered on northeastern Texas and south-central Oklahoma. More recently, that focus has shifted eastward by 400 to 500 miles. In the past decade or so tornadoes have become prevalent in eastern Missouri and Arkansas, western Tennessee and Kentucky, and northern Mississippi and Alabama—a new region of concentrated storms.
multiple twisters spawned by a single weather system—are shifting even more definitively to the east
Why is this shift happening now?
Tornadoes also are more likely to develop when the local atmosphere is unstable, “and warming increases instability,
Climate change is warming the Gulf of Mexico as well, which can send generous amounts of water vapor into the southeastern U.S.
Research suggests that the so-called dry line is also shifting eastward
The line, which for centuries has fallen roughly along the 100th meridian, has moved east by about 140 miles since the late 1800s.
Climate change may extend the typical tornado season as well.
Milder winters mean the unstable air masses that can create supercells may become more likely in March or even earlier in the southeastern U.S.
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