Little Rock, central Arkansas crack list for dangerous tornados
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
A home in central Arkansas may be more likely to get hit by a tornado, than many other cities in the United States.
According to The Weather Channel, which ranked its top 10 cities for a tornado, Little Rock ranks in the middle of the pack.
The ranking takes into account a 75 mile radius around each city.
In Little Rock's case it takes in account nearly 1,000 square miles.
The National Weather Service said although April has been a pretty mild month for severe weather, don't take your guard down just yet.
A Weather Channel listing by Dr. Greg Forbes ranks Little Rock in the middle of the top ten list for most dangerous tornado cities in the U.S. It may shock many Arkansans, but one isn't so surprised by the results.
"This particular study not only took into account how many tornados occurred, but the whole area covered by those tornados, how long they stayed on the ground and how much real estate they covered," said John Robinson with the National Weather Service.
The nearest cities on the list were Jackson, Miss. at number two, and Tulsa, Okla. coming in sixth.
Robinson, the warning coordination meteorologist, told us the location between those two cities opens our area up for tornado activity.
"Very often here in Arkansas we see the tornados kind of take a path along a dividing line between the hilly terrains of the northwest, the flatter terrain of the southeast," Robinson said.
"The path of least resistance, if you want to put it that way, that's almost exactly how Interstate 30 is laid out."
Storms in recent years could even suggest we're seeing the label of "tornado alley," move to the more southern states.
"I think we always study "dixie alley," or we always study kind of the southeast as having a longer season, not as intense, not as large of tornados necessarily," Ginger Zee with ABC World News told us while chasing Arkansas weather in early April.
"Certainly a longer season all the way to the fall, so because you have both spring and fall, where the jet is changing so dramatically," she added. "That's why I believe this area is only going to be more active in the future."
The National Weather Service said by far, May is its most active month for tornados in Arkansas.
The top 10 list for cities with damaging tornados:
2. Jackson, Miss.
3. Birmingham, Ala.
4. Tuscaloosa, Ala.
5. Little Rock, Ark.
6. Tulsa, Okla.
7. Oklahoma City
9. Wichita, Kan.