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Maryland ranks third on list of "Top Tornado States"

Maryland may not have as large a number of tornadoes as states in Tornado Alley, but it still ranks No. 3 on a new list of the top tornado states.

The state ranks highly because of its population density -- the Weather Channel has ranked the states based on number of tornadoes per 10,000 square miles from 1950 to 2010.

Maryland has seen 9.9 tornadoes per 10,000 miles over those 60 years. Most notable among them were the F4 tornado that hit La Plata and Charles County in 2002 and the F3 tornado in College Park that killed two sisters in 2001.

Florida was a somewhat surprising No. 1, with 12.3 tornadoes per 10,000 miles, but Weather.com's Becky Kellogg wrote that perhaps it shouldn't be so surprising. Florida leads the nation for thunderstorms, and hurricanes that hit the state can also spawn tornadoes inland.

Kansas ranked No. 2, leading Tornado Alley and the plains states notorious for tornadoes. The most recent devastating tornado was 1.7 miles wide and destroyed the town of Greensburg in 2007.

Illinois and Mississippi rounded out the top five. Read the rankings here.

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