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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published May 24 2013

Weather Talk: Oklahoma City metro lies in heart of Tornado Alley

The Oklahoma tornado this week has deservedly become the media story of the month and has brought a lot of attention to tornadoes.

Interestingly, 2013 remains (to date) a relatively benign tornado year taken as a whole. Despite the Moore disaster, the number of tornadoes in the United States this year remains well below average as does the number of tornado-related fatalities.

Tornadoes are a fact of life in the Great Plains and especially in Oklahoma. What made the Moore tornado so terrible was that it happened to move through a populated area. Consider also that the population of Oklahoma has grown from

2 million just after World War II to almost 4 million today. The Oklahoma City metropolitan area has

1.3 million people and is located truly in the heart of Tornado Alley, meaning that populated areas, and Oklahoma City in particular, are providing bigger targets for tornadoes than ever before.

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com,

or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at http://stormtrack.areavoices.com/.