NWC REU 2002
May 12 - July 20



The Effect of Population Grown on Killer Tornadoes

Somer Erickson and Mark Shafer



Killer tornado data and population data have been studied in the region east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States, in order to look for any increase or decrease in the number of killer tornadoes when compared with population density. The data that is used is from 1950-2000, because these are the most accurate data years available. Before then records are not as accurate or reliable. These records are broken down by state and county. The population is then adjusted for natural change and then categorized into one of five categories: rural, small town, average, suburban, and urban. After much comparison it was found that there was no real change in the number of killer tornadoes in urban counties. However, it was determined that there was some increase in the number of killer tornado events in suburban counties. These results are useful to us so that we may better prepare for such occurrences and to create better ways of warning at-risk populations.

Paper available upon request.