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Q: Which U.S. state gets hit by the most tornadoes each year?
A:  Texas gets hit by more than twice as many tornadoes each year than any other state. According to the National Climatic Data Center, an average of 139 tornadoes are reported in Texas each year. Oklahoma, with an average of 57 twisters, ranks second. Sharing third place are Kansas and Florida, which both average 55.

Here's a ranked list of the most tornado-prone states:
1. Texas: 139
2. Oklahoma: 57
3. (tie) Kansas and Florida: 55
4. Nebraska: 45
5. Iowa: 37
6. Illinois: 35
7. Missouri: 30
8. South Dakota: 29
9. (tie) Louisiana and Mississippi: 27
10. (three-way tie) Alabama, Arkansas, and Minnesota: 25

There are two main reasons why Texas tops the list. The first reason is the state's great size: it covers a land area of about 260,000 square miles, which is roughly equal to the combined land area of the next four states on the list — Oklahoma, Kansas, Florida, and Nebraska. Although these four states rank lower than Texas in total number of tornadoes, they all rank higher in tornadoes per 10,000 square mile of land area. (Climate scientists often use 10,000 square miles as the standard area for making comparisons.)

The second reason is Texas's location: part of the state lies within Tornado Alley, an area of the central United States that has an especially high incidence of tornadoes and where the strongest tornadoes tend to develop. Tornado Alley stretches from central Texas northward through South Dakota (see the Tornado Alley Map ).


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