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Q&A

How to reduce tornados in the US Great Plains?

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How could I modify an alternate Earth to have less tornados in the American Great Plains area known as Tornado Alley? Maybe make the Rockies lower? Introduce an east-west range of mountains or high hills across Texas or Oklahoma? Which would be similar to extending the Ozark Mountains westward. I don't want to turn the Plains into a desert. More rainfall would actually be better, if I still had less tornados.

Thanks!

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Tornados and the thunderstorms that often spawn them are driven by rising columns of air. Such "thermals" are stronger and more likely in open terrain, like is prevalent in Tornado Alley.

Let the area be forested. You said you want more rain anyway. Forest would be a natural development of more water with otherwise the same climate.

I have read that at least part of the problem there was hot air from the south meeting cold air coming from the north, plus generaly cooler air coming over the Rockies.

Yes, there's more to it than just flat open terrain, but terrain seems to matter. Look at all the areas in the world where tornados are likely well above average, and you will mostly find flat terrain with no trees.

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2 comment threads

More water for trees sounds good, but how can I realistically do this? This is the lee side of the Ro... (1 comment)
I have read that at least part of the problem there was hot air from the south meeting cold air comin... (1 comment)

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