Killer Tornadoes in the U.S. Midwest

Earlier than normal wave of killer tornadoes, at least 80, swept through the Midwest and South U.S., typically known as the Tornado Alley, which started on Friday, March 2, 2012 and lasted over the weekend. Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky are the hardest hit states in the Midwest. At the last count death toll stands at 39. An untold number of property damages displaced scores of people throughout the region. It is estimated to cost $2 billion to the insurance industry. The continued bad weather conditions are hampering the cleanup efforts.

Tornadoes typically occur in the U.S. from March to July when warm moist air from the south collides with cold dry air from the north. Peak is expected during spring. According to the National Weather Service, over 550 people were killed due to this weather phenomenon in 2011. It is hard to forecast the number, frequency and severity of tornadoes that may occur in any given year. Tornadoes are also called twisters or cyclones. The wind speed of a tornado could go up to 110 miles per hour, approximately 250 feet in width and typically travel few miles destroying everything in its path and disappear.