GA ranks among best states for tornadoes: report
Georgia has experienced more than two dozen tornadoes so far this year, ranking among the states with the most tornadoes in 2021.
The State Peach placed fifth in the country for reported tornadoes, according to an annual report from the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center. To date, there have been at least 30 tornadoes, of which a destructive EF-4 that leveled Newnan homes, schools and businesses end of March.
Storms have also raged at least six twisters in North Georgia earlier this month, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Texas, the country’s second-largest state in terms of area, took first place in the number of tornadoes reported this year – 79 in all, according to the data.
But the next five states are all in the southeast, suggesting that “Tornado Alley” could move east. Alabama had 77 twisters, followed by Mississippi with 66, Louisiana with 37, Georgia with 30 and Tennessee with 27.
The NWS report is based on preliminary data and is subject to change.
Other than Texas, Georgia has seen more tornadoes than others States in “tornado alley”, an area of the southern plains known for a “disproportionate frequency of tornadoes,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The region’s boundaries are questionable, but generally include the area stretching from central Texas to Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and parts of the upper Midwest.Since May 19, seven tornadoes have been reported in Oklahoma, four in Kansas and eight in Nebraska, according to the Storm Prediction Center report.
However, the peak “tornado season” differs from region to region. The states in the tornado alley typically experience a higher frequency of spins between May and early June, while the tornado season in the Southeast begins earlier in the spring.
Tornadoes can happen any time of the year in Georgia, but things tend to accelerate from February through April, said Dave Nadler, a meteorologist with the Peachtree City National Weather Service.
“It starts to go down in May,” Nadler told McClatchy News in an interview. “And then in June, we start to switch to a more summery model that only reduces the likelihood of seeing tornadoes across the state.”
On average, the state sees about 35 reported tornadoes per year, Nadler said. However, this number can vary and Georgia has experienced a few anomalies in recent years.
“In 2017, we had nearly 150 [twisters] and in 2018, we were under 35, ”he recalls.
Nadler said NWS Atlanta has yet to release an official tally of documented tornadoes in the state until May, and noted that preliminary data can take months to verify.