Brook’s most recent paper on the idea that Tornado Alley might change concludes that since 1979 we have seen a 10% decrease in the chance of experiencing a tornado within the Tornado Alley footprint. Meanwhile, his research shows a 10% increase in the chance of a tornado forming in the Dixie Alley footprint.
So, yes: the trends are changing a bit.
But that doesn’t mean tornado alley is picking up and moving east.
Indeed, the formation of tornadoes is also closely linked to the potential for thunderstorms. Researchers from a group called Climate Central have studied one of the key factors that influence how thunderstorms form, and they found an increase in thunderstorm potential in the East around Dixie Alley – as well as a decrease in this potential around the Tornado Alley area.
“It seems like an environmental change,” Brooks said. “This means that the frequency of tornado-prone environments has increased over the past 40 to 50 years in the south-central region, and has decreased somewhat in southern Texas, western Texas. “
So the big question is: Why?
“It’s very tempting to say it’s the result of climate change,” Brooks said.