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The time a tornado hit Alaska — happens once every 20 years

Thursday, July 29th 2021, 6:07 pm - On this day in weather history, a tornado touched down in Alaska.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features stories about people, communities, and events and how weather impacted them.

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The United States receives more tornadoes than any other country. On average, the U.S. gets hit with more than 1,200 tornadoes.

A tornado touches down near Sand Point, Alaska on July 25, 2005. Courtesy National Weather Service "A tornado touches down near Sand Point, Alaska on July 25, 2005." Courtesy of National Weather Service.

Within the U.S., most tornadoes hit east of the Rocky Mountains around the Great Plains, Midwest, Mississippi Valley and other southern states. Florida receives many tornadoes, however, they are generally weaker. Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri, are also tornado-prone states.

Alaska is on the other end of the tornado spectrum. On average, from 1991 - 2010, Alaska received zero tornadoes.

On Monday, July 25, 2005, a very rare tornado touched down near Sand Point, Popof Island, Alaska.

Since 1950 there have only been four tornadoes in the state. All tornadoes that have hit the state have been rated at the F/EF-0 level.

July 2005 funnel cloud on the Kenai Peninsula  Courtesy Julia Ruthford, National Weather Service "July 2005 funnel cloud on the Kenai Peninsula." Courtesy of Julia Ruthford, National Weather Service.

According to land area, Alaska is the biggest state in the U.S. with a land area of 1,477,277 square km. Considering there have only been four tornadoes since 1950, that means there is one tornado for every 369,319 square km. In contrast, Oklahoma gets one tornado for every 52 square km.

To learn more about the very rare Alaska tornado, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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