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Become a nitrogen atom in the nitrogen cycle in our Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit/Game. See all our games, activity kits and classroom activities.
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 in the central United States is the best breeding ground for the storms which produce tornadoes. The land in the Great Plains is relatively flat, which allows cold dry polar air from Canada to meet warm moist tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico. It's along the front between the two airmasses that most tornadoes form.

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 travel to this area because of the high concentration of tornadoes. These tornadoes are formed by thunderstorms. Some of the tornadoes in the southern states such as Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia are caused 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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