The area we call ‘Tornado Alley’ extends from Texas and Oklahoma in the northeast and across to Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. Contrary to popular belief, this area does not shift since it’s hemmed in by two geographic boundaries – the Rocky Mountains and the Gulf of Mexico. Usually, the cool air that travels over the Rocky Mountains descends over the plains and collides with warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. This collision results in a tornado. Tornado Alley experiences more tornadoes per square mile than anywhere else in the world.

Fun fact: Two-thirds of the world’s tornadoes occur in the United States, because of this phenomenon. However, tornado probabilities have a 30-year average. Central Oklahoma is at peak tornado season right now and Kansas City is close to a peak. Let’s break down why this region has been so quiet lately.   

Last week, despite a Tornado Watch being issued for Kansas City, the city experienced no tornados. It did however receive 1.60 inches of rain. Heavy rainfall, which started around Thursday night, plagued most of the region through the weekend. The wet weather can be attributed to the high pressure steadily building over Illinois and Wisconsin over last week. As air blew further away from high pressure and toward low pressure, the air sunk and temporarily cleared out the clouds. However, since dew points remained low across the Plains states, it stayed quiet as far as tornados go. As the dew points increased, it brought thunderstorms throughout the region over this past weekend. However, there will be no tornadoes since the main jet stream energy over Canada has not shifted south yet. This is why Tornado Alley will remain tornado-free for the time being, even as the region and its residents may experience flooding risks and damage due to severe weather conditions.

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