Severe Weather Pattern – Driving through Tornado Alley in May 2019

By David Rall

Recently my son moved his household goods from Flagstaff, AZ to just outside New York City.  My wife and I took the driver duties and headed across country in a 16 foot truck.  During the 10 day trek, there were several tornado alerts and even tornado warnings along our route from Texas through southern Indiana and Philadelphia before arriving at our final destination in New Jersey.

On both occasions the tornadoes could not be seen from where we were, but there was a bit of thunderstorm activity and those in areas thirty miles away were asked to seek shelter immediately.   We were fortunate, some may say blessed, that the weather along the drive was without incident, but what would you do if you were driving and a tornado siren went off?  

This is a very real occurrence along that area of the country called Tornado Alley, which happened to be the area we went through.  At the bottom of this article are links to refresh what needs to be done while traveling and faced with weather emergencies.  It would be wise to review those before an emergency happens in your area.  As an example, seeking shelter from a tornado under an overpass might sound like a good idea and it’s an idea often captured in films, but meteorologists say that is one of the worst things you could do.

Is this weather normal?  In the below link you will find that there were over 328 reports of tornadoes in just 11 days in May.  According to this report: The United States is experiencing the most active prolonged period of tornadoes since the April 2011 Super Outbreak. 

“Almost 2,200 reports of severe weather, including 328 reports of tornadoes, have been logged from May 17 through the morning of May 28 in the U.S.”

2019 ranks 4th right now in the windows of 8-14 days and 28-30.

“Storms Cause Deaths in West Virginia, Kentucky; Damaging Tornadoes Reported in Texas.” Tornadoes Strike Canton, TX within Hours, Drone Captures Stunning View

A review of the route of these tornadoes and the route we took, and indeed, we were blessed to be saved from misfortune during the trip.


Tornado safety: What to do if you encounter a tornado while drivingThe difference between tornado watches and warningsUnderstand Tornado AlertsHow to get in touch with loved ones during and after a disaster

2 thoughts on “Severe Weather Pattern – Driving through Tornado Alley in May 2019

  1. Nobody could argue with those facts! Violent weather is and will continue to be part of the great chastisement.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Sandra. Besides the violent weather in the form of tornadoes, do you think we should be on the lookout for increased earthquake activity?

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