The United States leads the world in experiencing the most tornadoes, which commonly rip through the Midwest and the Southeast, typically in late spring or early summer. Around 1,200 twisters are usually reported each year. But more tornadoes are reported in the United Kingdom per square mile than anywhere else on the planet. Few of the annual average of 34 tornadoes that strike Britain are very strong, with 95 percent being classified as F0 or F1 storms -- meaning a maximum wind speed of 112 mph (180 km/h). A 2015 study conducted at the University of Manchester pinpointed where twisters are mostly likely to touch down. The Thames Valley, between Reading and London, is Britain's Tornado Alley.
Take cover, North America:
- On average, the U.K. sees 2.2 tornadoes per 10,000 square kilometers (3,861 sq miles). They’re most likely to strike between May and October, but they can actually occur at any time of the year.
- In the U.S., tornadoes can develop into devastating F5s, with estimated wind speeds of more than 300 mph (483 km/h), resulting in significant property damage and loss of life.
- Canada is larger than America in terms of land mass, but it experiences one-tenth the number of tornadoes. Together, the U.S. and Canada account for 75 percent of the world’s twisters.