Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tornado Alley

This little bit of trivia (if you consider tornadoes trivial) from the Illinois Times today:
May is danger time when it comes to tornadoes in these parts. Just ask Frank Tatom, founder of VorTek, an Alabama company that uses National Weather Service statistics to figure out which towns are most likely to be hit by tornadoes.

In any given May, Springfield ranks 14th in the nation — and first in the state of Illinois — when it comes to likelihood of hosting a twister, according to VorTek.

Top of the list? That would be Oklahoma City, followed closely by Huntsville, Ala., where Tatom lives. Amazingly, the folks in Huntsville aren’t basking in the glow. “Actually, the chamber of commerce in Huntsville has come to me several times and asked me to tone down my statistics,” says Tatom, who keeps track of how many tornadoes touch down within 20 miles of the epicenter of every U.S. city of more than 100,000 residents.
I would not have thought we were that high up on the list. I suppose the 20 mile radius thing helps but considering how infrequently the city itself is hit (except for this year) it just doesn’t seem like were in such a high risk area.

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