Why are there more tornadoes in the US compared to the rest of the world?


Why are there more tornadoes in the US compared to the rest of the world?

In: 688

There aren’t. There are more recorded tornadoes because in other countries tornadoes hit in uninhabited or very poor zones or in the middle of the ocean

Tornadoes like to develop when cold air masses and warm air masses collide over flat land. The US just so happens to have the jet stream to the north of it (which being cold air down from Canada and the arctic) and the very warm Gulf of Mexico below an area of very flat topography. Those three things combine to create tornadoes. There’s not really anywhere else in the world where those three criteria come together so perfectly, hence we seem to have a monopoly on tornadoes in the central and southeast US.

Edit to add: flat land doesn’t technically have anything to do with tornadoes forming. However, tornadoes are very finicky and are easily dispersed by sudden changes in elevation. That’s why flat land helps them survive long enough to become significant.


Tornadoes form when cold dry air meets warm moist air. This only happens on a large scale in North America thanks to the Canadian Arctic and the Gulf of Mexico. All the other continents have mountain ranges separating these air masses, or don’t have polar regions at all.

If the Himalayas didn’t exist, Asia would also have loads of tornadoes.

I’m no specialist but if I remembered my high school class, it’s something related to the mountain chain on each side of the country that cause different kind of wind to mix together and kinda boosted by the Oceans stream. There’s clearly a better explanation but that’s all I can remember and I’m not even sure if it is