Do you live where tornadoes happen often?

Tornadoes are extremely rare in Utah, but down...
Tornadoes are extremely rare in Utah, but downtown Salt Lake City was struck by this F2 tornado in 1999, which killed one person. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe I should ask, “Do you live in the United States?” because the U.S. has the most tornadoes in the world.

You thought so, didn’t you!

From 1950, when we began to keep official records, here are the 10 states that have the most tornadoes per square mile, in order of greatest to least.

  1. Florida
  2. Kansas
  3. Maryland
  4. Illinois
  5. Mississippi
  6. Iowa
  7. Oklahoma
  8. South Carolina
  9. Alabama
  10. Louisiana

Surprised? Me too. However the states that have the most notorious tornadoes are not all up there and some of the above states have lots of teensy tornadoes that don’t do much. Your highest chances of experiencing the most damaging tornado are in the following five states:

Alabama, Texas, Iowa, Kansas, or Oklahoma
They’re all tied for first.

Scared yet?

Okay, I publish this annually in one form or another, in hopes of allaying some of your anxiety about this life and death topic. This year, it’s just a list of links, but if you search “tornado” in the search window above (click on the magnifying glass for a nice surprise) you will find a few more curiosities on the subject.

Pay attention and live:

How to Prepare for Tornado Weather

Ten Steps to Tornado Safety

Story of My Tornado Experience

Story of a Stranger Who Borrowed Our House in a Tornado

A tornado near Seymour, Texas
A tornado near Seymour, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Odd Egg

What a difference in these two eggs! Each appeared during this flip-flop season we call “spring”.

odd eggs

Odd Eggs

Spring is such a time of turmoil in our area—flower and leaf buds popping out everywhere, new birth, chickens beginning the new laying season, tornadoes—I wonder how we survive it.

Spring’s natural beauty forces us to love her. The amazing fragrances and forms of blooming things, the pearlescence of eggshells and the fragility of baby chicks, the mew of kittens, the peeping of hidden frogs, all work on us, draw us to that perennial love affair with spring.

So we roll up our sleeves, kick off our shoes, and pull our hair up into ponytails to catch the sun on our skin. We pull weeds, freshen flags, mow too soon, plant too soon—anything to be outdoors, to come inside smelling like spring. We paint lawn furniture, divide potted plants, and attend herbal festivals, filling our lives with projects to prepare us for spring.

But no-yolk and double-yolk eggs most remind me of spring. My dad had a collection of odd eggshells that appeared on the same day as tornadoes. He always said the tornado scared the hens and caused them to lay odd eggs. I think he believed that. Maybe it is true. He labeled each shell with the date of its corresponding tornado and displayed them on egg cups, for which they were far too large or far too small. He always loved curiously humorous events.

He’s been gone, now, about 12 years. So much has changed. I doubt he ever guessed I’d be telling the whole world about his eggshell collection, one day. I doubt he ever guessed what an impact he had, in the daily humor of life.

But I do not doubt he lived life, squeezed everything he could out of it, love it, with one hand held palm-upward, trusting, waiting for some blessing to fall into it, be it only an odd eggshell.

And he was not disappointed.