Are the four tornadoes that have hit Moore in the past 16 years a coincidence? Or is there something more at work?
Nobody knows how likely it is that a given town would be hit by four violent tornadoes in 16 years; if we knew that, then we’d also know whether Moore really is especially tornado prone, or just suffering a streak of bad luck. But we do know big tornadoes, themselves, are rare. Devastating EF4s made up 1.37 percent of all the tornadoes that hit the U.S. from 1994 to 2012.2 Just 0.14 percent were incredible EF5s.
And that’s enough to make Moore’s recent history turn heads. People who live in the Plains states, as I once did, have a special relationship with tornadoes, wary but familiar, like your grandma’s dog that’ll bite if you aren’t careful. This is a part of the country where little kids dream about growing up to be storm chasers. Where tornado sirens go off every Wednesday at lunchtime, just as a test of the system. It’s a part of the country where art professors like my dad duck outside for a peek at one of the most powerful tornadoes in recorded history. (Source)