Here’s the good news – the United States is number one. The bad news? The activity of choice is tornado activity. Scientists can tell you why.
So let's run it down. Here are the four main reasons tornadoes hit the U.S. more frequently than elsewhere on the planet. What we have is this:
· A massive mountain wall to the west, otherwise know as the Rocky Mountains. Their dry pockets up high provide an energy source that allows tornadoes to get their spin on. Purdue University professor Ernest Agee, who's affiliated with the school’s Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences Department, tells NBC news, “I call the area from the Rockies to the Appalachians and from the Gulf Coast to the Canadian border the ‘tornado super bowl’ of the world.” That's some championship tornadic activity.
· A warm ocean to the southeast. Purdue professor Agee says, "The Gulf of Mexico is basically the fuel tank for these developing storms."
· The jet stream, which is a narrow 'river' of wind that surges eastward at hundreds of miles per hour. How is that dangerous? Well, the jet stream typically gains speed during spring months, as cold air from the northwest travels fast toward warm, wet air in the southeast.
· A cold-air “shield” to the north that extends from Western Canada to Greenland. This allows winter to extend well into America’s spring, Agee says that shield allows cold air to pool - and remain - to eventually fuel those mega-thunderstorms storms far south, carried there by the jet stream.
In fact, twisters are 10 times more common in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. Our nation ranks number 1 when it comes to tornadoes, averaging about 1-thousand a year, while Canada ranks second with about 100 annually, according to experts.