In Brief

Is Your Hometown a Top Tornado City?

tuscaloosa tornado track satellite image
The track of devestation from the Birmingham tornado, one of the 753 tornadoes that struck during April 2011. (Image credit: NASA.)

Tornadoes can happen anytime, anywhere if conditions are right, but some places are of course more tornado-prone than others.

Over at The Weather Channel, their resident tornado expert Greg Forbes has assembled a list of the Top 10 tornado cities in the United States. His ranking is based on the sheer number of tornadoes in a given metro area, though it also takes into account the full area of tornado paths to give a better idea of the amount of land actually being impacted by tornadoes, Forbes said.

To make his list, Forbes used data from the National Weather Service that spanned the years 1962-2011 from tornadoes within 75 miles (120 kilometers) of a given metro location. "Cities that are mostly in the Midwest, the Plains, and the South have the highest probability of a house getting hit by a tornado," Forbes said of this year's top 10 list. No. 1 on the list? Huntsville, Ala., which was hit in the major April 2011 tornado outbreak. See the other top tornado cities on the Weather Channel's list.

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Andrea Thompson
Live Science Contributor

Andrea Thompson is an associate editor at Scientific American, where she covers sustainability, energy and the environment. Prior to that, she was a senior writer covering climate science at Climate Central and a reporter and editor at Live Science, where she primarily covered Earth science and the environment. She holds a graduate degree in science health and environmental reporting from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science and and masters of science in atmospheric chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.