TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) – Three of the top five most tornado-prone cities in the country are in Alabama, according to a new list put out by weather.com experts. Huntsville actually takes the top spot, followed by Birmingham at number three and Tuscaloosa at number four. Jackson, Mississippi takes the number two spot. In fact, the top five cities on the list are all in the deep south. That is somewhat surprising, considering the perception that plains states like Kansas and Oklahoma experience the most tornado activity.
Dr. Jason Senkbeil, a geography assistant professor from the University of Alabama, explains that the study takes more into account than the sheer number of tornadoes. The study also looks at the length, or the amount of time a tornado was on the ground, and the width of the storms. He says, typically, the southern tornadoes are just bigger. Senkbeil also doesn’t believe the April 27th tornadoes from 2011 impacted the list very drastically. He explains, we now just have better technology to detect these storms; and Alabama has always had a very active tornado presence.