Filed Under:Risk Management, Loss Control

Top 10 tornado-prone counties in the U.S.

Tornadoes affect many U.S. residents, but some more than others according to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. (Source: Shutterstock)
Tornadoes affect many U.S. residents, but some more than others according to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. (Source: Shutterstock)

Tornado. Cyclone. Twister. 

Whatever you prefer to call them, they're a forced to be reckoned with. But some counties need little reminder of this. Using the Storm Events database from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, compiled data for each county in the U.S. from 1950 to 2016.  

Many of the most prone counties are predominately near or in large metro areas. To remove population from the data, normalized by population for every 100 residents in the 2010 census. This, in turn, highlighted several other tornado-susceptible counties. 

Also, since a given tornado may travel over multiple counties, the dataset isn't strictly the number of tornadoes, but rather number of tornado segments. For example, a tornado tracking over three counties has three tornado segments, one per county, in the database.

With that said, keep reading to see the top 10 counties with the highest tornado segment density, per 100 residents, since 1950 to 2016. 

Related: Record tornado damage shows rising cost of climate for Travelers

Cimarron, Oklahoma

 (Source: Shutterstock)

10. Cimarron (Oklahoma) 

Tornado segment density (per 100 residents): 2.71

Tornado segments: 67

County population (2010 census): 2,475

Briscoe, Texas

(Source: Shutterstock)

9. Briscoe (Texas)

Tornado segment density (per 100 residents): 2.81

Tornado segments: 46

County population (2010 census): 1,637

Kent, Texas

(Source: Shutterstock)

8. Kent (Texas)

Tornado segment density (per 100 residents): 2.846

Tornado segments: 23

County population (2010 census): 808

 Hodgeman, Kansas

(Source: Shutterstock) 

7. Hodgeman (Kansas)

Tornado segment density (per 100 residents): 2.853

Tornado segments: 56

County population (2010 census): 1,963

Nebraska state flag

(The state flag of Nebraska. Banner, Nebraska ranks sixth in the top 10 most tornado-prone counties in the U.S., according to Source: Shutterstock) 

6. Banner (Nebraska)

Tornado segment density (per 100 residents): 3.82

Tornado segments: 29

County population (2010 census): 759

Roberts, Texas

(Source: Shutterstock) 

5. Roberts (Texas)

Tornado segment density (per 100 residents): 3.98

Tornado segments: 37

County population (2010 census): 929

Cheyenne, Colorado

(The Cheyenne trails is a popular attraction in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Source: Shutterstock)

4. Cheyenne (Colorado)

Tornado segment density (per 100 residents): 4.14

Tornado segments: 76

County population (2010 census): 1,836

Kiowa, Colorado

(Source: Shutterstock) 

3. Kiowa (Colorado)

Tornado segment density (per 100 residents): 6.15

Tornado segments: 86

County population (2010 census): 1,398

King, Texas

(Source: Shutterstock)

2. King (Texas)

Tornado segment density (per 100 residents): 6.99

Tornado segments: 20

County population (2010 census): 286

Love, Texas

(Source: Shutterstock)

1. Loving (Texas)

Tornado segment density (per 100 residents): 7.32

Tornado segments: 6

County population (2010 census): 82

Related: Top 10 costliest U.S. tornado catastrophes

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