There's a reason why the United States sees so many violent tornadoes

This image made from video provided by KWTV-KOTV shows two funnel clouds formed in Crescent, Okla., Monday, May 20, 2019. (KWTV-KOTV via AP)

Every spring our Doppler 10 weather team turns its eyes to the sky as it tracks severe weather. As strong tornadoes capture the headlines and you may notice that one portion of the country tends to see more of those than anyone else.

It's no mistake that the region of the Central Plains stretching from Central and Northern Texas to Southern North Dakota gets the nickname "Tornado Alley". Although the boundaries of Tornado Alley are debatable the plains are a region that's ripe for tornado formation.

In fact, the United States sees more violent tornadoes than any other country in the world.

Advertisement - Story continues below

The reason for that comes down to geography. If we had west to east oriented mountain ranges in the Northern and Southern U.S. cold, dry air would stay trapped in Canada and warm, moist air would stay over the Gulf of Mexico.

But the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains have a general south to north orientation to them. This means cold and warm air can funnel into the center of the country. This clashing of air masses leads to the formation of weather systems.

It also leads to low-level wind fields that are favorable to thunderstorm formation. Couple that with the fact that we have an active jet stream moving over that region and instability increases along with upper levels wind shear which all lead to large thunderstorms that grow high into the sky. If conditions are right tornadoes can form.

The Great Plains are the one spot in the world where everything lines up just right and that's where we find Tornado Alley. In fact, strong to violent tornadoes, those of at least EF-3 strength (136+ mph) rarely occur outside of the country.