Theses and Dissertations


Tory Farney

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dixon, P. Grady

Committee Member

Mercer, Andrew E.

Committee Member

Cooke, William H., III

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Previous tornado climatology research has relied primarily upon means of tornadoes or tornado days. Understanding the variability of tornado days however, will result in a more comprehensive understanding of the climatological distribution of tornadoes. In a changing environment, the extremities of a distribution should change faster than the mean of that distribution. Two methods of analyzing tornado days for predefined areas across the continental United States using the Storm Prediction Center's publication Storm Data from 1950 to 2011 are conducted in this study. Statistical analysis of averages, return periods, and percentiles reveals the variability in the record while consecutive tornado days present an alternative way to assess the seasonal repeatability and to assess risk for historic, multi-day tornado outbreaks. The results of this research will help to better define the traditional “tornado alley” as well as highlight other high-risk locations, especially those with higher interannual variability.



extremes||climate extremes||climate