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Studies: Ga. part of new, deadly 'tornado alley' | News

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Studies: Ga. part of new, deadly 'tornado alley'

(WXIA) -- Most people are familiar with the so-called "Tornado Alley" in the midsection of the nation, where hundreds of twisters touch down each year.

According to The Weather Channel's severe weather expert, Dr. Greg Forbes, a second area stretching across parts of northwest Georgia, from west of Atlanta to north of Atlanta, has formed into a second, mini "Tornado Alley," based on statistical analysis of storms in recent years.

Additional data from a University of Akron study shows that tornadic events in an swath running from northeastern Arkansas, through the Memphis area, and southeastward toward Birmingham and Atlanta have seen a significantly high number of storms. The UAkron report calls the area Dixie Alley.

Tornado statistics collected since 1950 show that the Southeastern states have numbers of tornado touchdowns that are significantly more than the average for most other portions of the nation. The data collected points to a significant increase in the number of nocturnal or nighttime tornadoes during the period, with the largest number in Arkansas and Tennessee.

The Akron report concludes the highest frequency of F3-to-F5 tornadoes -- the most violent and deadly tornadoes -- is centered in Dixie Alley and that this region is the most active region in the nation.

Nighttime tornadoes have the tendency to be the most deadly, since many individuals are asleep and do not hear any watches or warnings in time to take action to protect their safety.