Tornadoes Across the World - Are there Other "Tornado Alleys"?
It's no secret that the United States is the champion when it comes to sheer tornado frequency and intensity - on average, some 1,000+ tornadoes touch down across the country each year. The continents unique location, positioned near sources of plentiful moisture, mixed with its terrain influences that can impact and aid in the formation of systems, sets the stage for active springs, winters and more across the Southern and Central US. But we're not the only place on the planet afflicted with this bad weather luck, right? Let's take a look.
While CONUS is unique in it's own right, the mixture of the right terrain and moisture sources is seen elsewhere, such as the country of Bangladesh - it sits at the foot of the Himalayas, with a large moisture source in the ocean to it's south. This combination leads to some degree of frequency of tornadoes in this region as well, though not necessarily as frequent as the US. In fact, the deadliest tornado in world history occurred in this region in April of 1989, killing more than 1,300 people and injuring tens of thousands more.
Another fascinating area of tornadic activity is Eastern China - with it's mid-latitude position, moisture sources, and terrain, China has been host to some particularly violent tornadoes in recent history, which are often unfortunately quite deadly due to the higher population density. Research is still ongoing as to the true frequency of tornadoes across this region, but some estimates put the annual total in the low 100s, especially during the springtime months.
Though not often associated with tornadic activity, some research suggests that Central Russia may be host to notable tornado events as well - instead of pulling moisture from oceans, it has the Black Sea as a source of moisture. With it's higher latitude, it is often in close proximity to very robust systems swinging around, providing ample energy for tornadic activity.
All and all, it's not as easy as one would initially think to calculate just how frequent tornadoes are internationally - the United States, for example, has the most robust detection and warning network of any country on the planet, and this relative lack of these amenities elsewhere internationally is something of an impediment for further research. We may never truly know the international figures, but we know one thing for certain - the Tennessee Valley is no stranger to these events, and we'll be here every time for them.