The Washington Post

Image of day: 58,398 tornadoes, all in one place

Map of tornado reports between 1950 and 2010 in the United States. (NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Laboratory, contrast modified by CWG.)

* The U.S. is the most active area in the world for tornadoes

* Every state has experienced tornado activity

* The most active area, the so-called “tornado alley”, stretches from Texas to North Dakota, and from Texas to Florida (also known as Dixie alley)

Not included in this map are the 235 tornadoes that have occurred so far in 2011, including the 43 that occurred during Monday and Tuesday’s severe weather outbreak (which featured the most severe weather reports in a 24 hour period on record). Also, an untold number of tornadoes have touched down and not been reported, especially in the early decades of the record.

More severe weather and tornadoes are expected over the weekend. Tornado chaser Reed Timmer is charged up about this weekend’s potential, tweeting:

“Friday-Sunday look HUGE. NEVER STOP CHASING!”


“This weekend looks massive. Possibly three days of storm chasing in a row.”

Likewise, AccuWeather’s Henry Margusity is playing up the severe storm potential Saturday to Monday from the Midwest to the East Coast..

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.

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