Recent extreme weather events seem to reach into unlikely corners of the U.S., but the massive tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., on Monday tore right through the edge of a region so often battered by deadly twisters that it is known as Tornado Alley.
This part of the Southeast, which roughly covers the Plains states from South Dakota to Texas, allows Arctic air to funnel down alongside the Rocky Mountains into the plains, where it collides with warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, according to NBC News. But as the map below shows, some of the deadliest tornadoes have hit far east and south of Tornado Alley, which may be in part due to higher population density in some of these areas than in rural plains regions. After a rash of tornadoes killed more than 300 people in the Southern and Eastern U.S. in 2011, researchers questioned Tornado Alley's traditional boundaries.
Data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) show that severe tornadoes extend far beyond the plains, from the Midwest to the Deep South, according to a 2012 report from the research firm CoreLogic. Most of the Eastern half of the country is susceptible to tornado damage, with significant parts of 15 states facing extreme tornado risk.
Infographic by Jan Diehm for The Huffington Post.