Indianapolis area has had 17 tornado warnings issued so far this year

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(Sept. 4, 2014) – With the weather fairly calm today I wanted to post a great map I recently stumbled upon.  The map shows the number of tornado warnings issued this year so far by national weather service local office.  So far this year the Indianapolis area office has issued 17 warnings.  That is about average for low risk forecast areas for the year.

Other places near us though have been quite active so far this year.  To our south the Paducah, Ky., forecast office has 52 tornado warnings!  When looking at the map you can see that is the start of a north south line that has been as active as any across the country.  When you combine Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss., forecast offices, you get 173 warnings issued so far this year!  Overall those three forecast offices account for the second, third and fourth rank when it comes to tornado warnings issued.

I find the 28 and 24 warnings issued by Ohio forecast offices just as interesting as what is happening to our south.  With mostly flat conditions to their west (Indiana) and their overall location you have to wonder why this area has seen significantly more warnings than surrounding areas.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on why you think Ohio has seen just as many warnings as places located in tornado alley.

Overall the map is just as notable for what it does not show as for what it shows.  It doesn’t show how many tornadoes actually were verified from ground crews surveying potential damage.  It doesn’t show the size or average size of any tornadoes that verified as well.  Overall while a great map, you have to remember it is only a random year with trends that may not hold up over time.  I don’t think we are ready just yet to say that Ohio is the new tornado alley.