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Subject : L11) Which states are most vulnerable to TC tornadoes outbreaks ?

Contributed by Bill McCaul

Historical records show that the largest and most intense TC tornado outbreaks have occurred in states bordering the Gulf coast and the Atlantic coast from Virginia southward. The biggest outbreaks have occurred (starting from west to east, not in order of outbreak size or severity) in Texas (from Carla in 1961, Beulah in 1967, Allen in 1980, Alicia in 1983, and Gilbert in 1988), Louisiana (Audrey in 1957, Carla in 1961, Hilda in 1964, Andrew in 1992, and Lili in 2002), Mississippi (Audrey in 1957, Andrew in 1992, and Rita in 2005), Alabama (Audrey in 1957, Danny in 1985, Georges in 1998, Cindy in 2005, and Rita in 2005), Georgia (Ivan in 2004, Cindy in 2005, Katrina in 2005), Florida (Agnes in 1972, Opal in 1995, Josephine in 1996, Charley in 2004, Frances in 2004, and Ivan in 2004), South Carolina (Beryl in 1994, Frances in 2004, Jeanne in 2004), North Carolina (Floyd in 1999, Frances in 2004), Virginia (Gracie in 1959, David in 1979, Frances in 2004, Gaston in 2004, and Ivan in 2004). The Gulf coast states tend to have the most frequent and significant TC tornado events, partly because of their tendency to have at least one state fully exposed to the right-front quadrant of the TC when landfall occurs there (McCaul 1991). However, the mid-Atlantic states can also get major outbreaks if the parent TC moves far enough inland during recurvature.

Last updated October 4, 2006

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