Tornadoes are the most violent form of extreme weather that feature “funnel clouds”. Some countries are more prone to this phenomenon than others because of their climate and topography.
You might wonder, “Which country has the most tornadoes?”. Continue reading to find out the most vulnerable nations in the world. Some of these countries will surprise you!
Countries with the Most Tornadoes
Many countries experience tornadoes time and time again. A tornado is the thin, spinning air usually caused by severe weather conditions. It extends from a thunderstorm to land, leading to tragic consequences. Here are the countries most affected by severe tornadoes.
United States of America
The United States is the leading country with the highest amount of strong tornadoes. It happens anytime and anywhere around the country. The tornado frequency here is approximately 1200 times a year.
Tornadoes in the USA happen most in the Southeast and Midwest of the country. The start of summer and late spring are the tornado season here.
The most destructive tornado outbreak in the United States of America happened on March 18, 1935. It affected three states, and the list of tornado fatalities reached 695. The following tragic twister outbreak occurred in 1974, with 300 people dead.
The center of the country, the Great Plains, experiences the most number of tornadoes. Also known as the “Tornado Alley,” the Great Plains’ tornadoes come from the Gulf of Mexico, Rocky Mountains, and Canada.
Warm air from the gulf and cold air from the two other locations mix to produce dangerous thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Canada is the next country that encounters deadly tornadoes after the United States. From March to October, the second-largest country records eighty to one hundred outbreaks.
The number of tornadoes in Canada is much lower than in the United States. It only sees 10% of the outbreaks in the USA, but it has experienced stronger tornadoes.
The worst tornado recorded in the country was in 1912. It affected the city of Regina, which measures F4 on the Fujita Scale. The Regina tornado caused 28 deaths. It also destroyed the city’s main churches, libraries, and other infrastructures.
These natural calamities mainly occur on flat Canadian plains and prairie lands like Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. These locations are tornado-prone because warm moist air moves upwards and blends with the cold air from the Rockies.
England is another tornado hotspot and the worst in European countries, excluding Russia. Russia experiences up to 30 tornadoes per year, yet reliable sources always list England next to USA and Canada. Tornadoes do not frequently happen here, but it has the most number in terms of land area. It experiences a share of twisters in the Thames Valley, Reading, and the path from Manchester to Boston.
The country has been experiencing 2.2 tornadoes for every 10,000 square kilometers every year. This measurement is equal to one tornado per 4,545 square kilometers every year. In the United States, there are only 1.3 tornadoes per 7,793 kilometers annually. That includes the non-contiguous states of Hawaii and Alaska.
However, this information is only for England. When considering the whole British Isles, the rate is only 1.2 tornadoes every year for every 10,000 square kilometers. It’s much lower than US’ yearly average. Tornadoes in England are F0 or F1 on the Fujita scale. Even though this measurement is an indicator of weaker tornadoes, it’s still powerful enough to damage properties and fatalities.
One of the worst twisters happened in 2005. Birmingham experienced an F2 tornado that runs 157 miles per hour, injuring 19 people. It also led to the damage of 1000 trees and properties worth £40 million.
Only ten destructive tornadoes happen every year in New Zealand. The calamity happens more seldomly than in USA and Canada but is the most dangerous in the North Island. Twisters in this country only cover short distances too compared to US’ 60 miles.
There are only a few fatalities recorded throughout the years. Hamilton 1948 is the most tragic tornado in New Zealand, killing three people and ruining 170 houses.
Despite the country’s size, Japan has a significant number of tornadoes at 20 annually. It’s the same as New Zealand’s yearly count, except Japan is a newcomer in this list. The number of tornadoes, or tatsumaki, recorded annually is slowly increasing in this Asian country.
Strong tornado events also occur in India due to the monsoon season. The Eastern part experiences the majority of tornadoes in the country due to the weather conditions.
India’s strongest twister occurred in April 1963. It killed over 100 people in Assam. But this is lower compared to the deaths in Bangladesh, its neighboring country. The yearly tornado counts in India is low but threatening as it sometimes comes with dust storms and cyclones.
Bangladesh is the fifth country that experiences the most tornadic activity. The main culprit for frequent tornadoes here is the climate and topography of the nation.
Although it’s only fifth on the list, Bangladesh experiences the most dangerous twisters because of flimsy home construction.
One thousand three hundred lives were lost during the strongest tornado in the world. It happened on April 26, 1989, and caused the homelessness of over 80,000 people.
The next deadliest tornado in Bangladesh occurred in 1964. It left 500 people dead in the Khulna Division.
South Africa and Argentina
Even though Argentina and South Africa are at the bottom of this list, the tornadoes are also violent. Both see tornadoes around seven to ten times a year.
Argentina is South America’s most affected country by tornadoes. It has experienced an EF5-rated tornado in the small town of San Justo.
It’s the strongest rating on the scale, destroying almost 500 homes 300 yards wide. The 1973 disaster in South America also killed 63 individuals.
On the bright side, South Africa and Argentina have a low frequency of tornadoes. South Africa experiences 0.4 tornadoes per year per 100,000 square kilometers.
Why America Has the Most Tornadoes in the World
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states that the United States is the top country in tornado development. Its highest risk areas include the Great Plains, Midwest, the Rockies, and South.
But there is no single reason why it experiences the most tornadoes in the world. It could be because of the Rockies’ mid-dry air, the Gulf of Mexico’s warmth, and the coldness of the north. The clash between humid, warm air and cold, dry air can form a tornado.
New studies suggest that tornado production is linked with temperature differences in a mesocyclone and the downdraft air wrapping it. These theories are based on methods for predicting tornadoes and looking for patterns in the wind flow.
If you live in a tornado-prone state in the United States, a weather station like the Davis Vantage Vue will come in handy. It will help you monitor all the necessary variables in predicting a tornado so you can take the necessary precautions.
Tornadoes strike in many parts of the world, especially in the US. But Canada, England, Bangladesh, and other countries also see a fair amount. These twisters may develop from extreme thunderstorms and unstable air conditions.
If you want to know more about tornadoes, leave your questions in the comments section.
You are unlikely to get caught in a twister since they are usually slow and cover short distances. But make sure to take the necessary precautions for your safety! For more great tips like this, check out our guide to weather station maintenance.