SPRINGfIELD, Mo. -- The Ozark Plateau covers nearly 47,000 square miles and stretches from extreme southeast Kansas and Oklahoma through much of Arkansas and Missouri.
It is the largest highland region between the Appalachians and Rockies and at its highest point reaches an elevation of just over 2500 feet. Each year during severe weather season, viewers reach out to the KY3 Storm Team asking about this terrain feature and if it protects Springfield from tornadoes.
"When it comes to the Ozark Plateau it does not make much of a difference," said Steve Runnels, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "Thunderstorms extend 50,000-60,000feet high and they really don't care what's going on underneath them so it is a myth that tornadoes won't cross the plateau."
Over the last few decades, we have seen several long track and violent tornadoes cross over the plateau proving that this terrain feature really has no impact.
Bottom line, if you live in the Ozarks you need to always be prepared and have a plan in place during tornado season.