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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
This map shows where most tornadoes form in the United States. The red area is known as "Tornado Alley". Most of the tornadoes in the southern U.S. near the Gulf of Mexico are formed by hurricanes
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What is "Tornado Alley"?

The land which stretches from Texas to Manitoba is relatively flat, most of which is part of the Great Plains in the United States. The flat land is a good breeding ground for the storms which produce tornadoes. Cold dry polar air from Canada can move to the south without any obstacles, as can warm moist tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico move to the north.

Most tornadoes in the United States form in an area called "Tornado Alley". This area includes parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. Storm chasers frequent this area because it has the highest frequency of tornadoes. These tornadoes are formed by thunderstorms. Some tornadoes in southern states such as Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia are formed by hurricanes.

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The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF