Natural Hazards In The United States.
Due to its large size and varying terrain the United States has a wide variety of weather conditions and geological events that are constantly present. In this paper I am going to focus on, what I feel, the six most destructive natural hazards in the United States. These six hazards are hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions and each of them .
Tornadoes have a possibility of forming in every state but have a higher chance of occurring in the central U.S. between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains. As pointed out by the Tornado Risk Areas Map, the largest area of high risk occurs in section of the central U.S. called "tornado alley". Out of the top five states with the highest number of tornadoes, four of them (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska) are located in this alley. Florida is only state in the top five that is not located within the defined region of tornado alley.
The frequency, size, strength, and type of tornado can vary throughout the United States. In the Plains and Western U.S. the most common variety of tornado occurs when a thunderstorm forms rapidly. These tornadoes can appear to be transparent until they begin to pickup debris and it is not uncommon for two or more tornadoes to occur at the same time with close proximity of each other during these storms. The peak season for tornadoes to occur within this area is during the summer months and between the hours of 3pm and 9pm. In the Southeastern U.S. the peak tornado season is March through May but tornadoes have been known to occur during any month of the year. .
Another natural weather disaster that affects a large portion of the U.S. is floods. As seen in the General Areas of Flooding Map, the areas with the most major flooding from 1993-1997 were the upper Mississippi and Missouri Rivers with other smaller areas such as the Columbia and Snake rivers in Northwestern U.