Tennessee In Top Two For Tornado Death Rate In US

Jun 16, 2014

EF-3 tornado, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 2009
Credit frommountainstomolehills.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/tennessee-tornado.jpg

An analysis of tornadoes over the past three decades finds that Tennessee is among the states most vulnerable to tornadoes.

The study from the federal Southeast Regional Climate Center at the University of North Carolina shows Florida and Tennessee have the most deaths for each mile that a tornado is on the ground. North Carolina, Ohio, and Alabama round out the top five.

The Tennessean newspaper reports the entire southeast is high in the factors that make tornadoes more dangerous:  the number of the elderly and the poor, as well as high numbers of mobile homes.

The study also finds that the region has more tornadoes at night, making them harder to see and making it easier to miss storm and tornado warnings.

Florida’s death rate is 2.4 deaths per 100 miles of tornado ground track. That’s more than two-and-a-half times the rate in Oklahoma and nearly five times the rate in Kansas.