The country’s Tornado Alley — a twister-heavy area typically associated with the Great Plains– is now shifting eastward, an alarming new study found.
More and more tornadoes have been popping up in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa and parts of Ohio and Michigan, according to the study, published Wednesday in the journal Climate and Atmospheric Science.
Fewer funnels are breaking out across the Great Plains, including Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas — with the biggest drop in the central and eastern parts of the Lone Star State.
Still, the study said, Texas sees the most tornadoes out of any state.
The troubling shift to the east could be catastrophic because states there are more densely populated, according to lead author Victor Gensini, who teaches atmospheric sciences at Northern Illinois University.
“More folks are generally at risk because of that eastward shift,” Gensini said.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association said the four deadliest states for tornadoes are Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas.
Gensini said the Great Plains is becoming drier, meaning the environment isn’t as conducive to spawning tornadoes.
Twisters like to form along the “dry line” where there are more thunderstorms because there’s dry air to the west and moist air from the Gulf to Mexico to the east.
That “dry line,” he noted, is moving east.
The shift is consistent with what experts expect with climate change.
“This is what you would expect in a climate change scenario, we just have no way of confirming it at the moment,” Gensini said.
With Post Wires
This story originally appeared in the New York Post.