We are used to seeing monster tornadoes out in the the Great Plains states but rarely have we seen a tornado photobombing a group of skyscrapers. Tornadoes can form just about anywhere, however the Plains states are perfect as two air masses collide to create super-cell thunderstorms, which in turn, help to create tornadoes. During the Spring, cool, dry air filters in from Canada and clashes with warm, moist air rising from the Gulf Of Mexico. It just so happens that most places with a lot of skyscrapers are situated in places where tornado-evolving conditions are less frequent. Topography does not matter as tornadoes form thousands of feet above skyscrapers, so it may affect the shape of the tornado but not prevent one from forming. If it forms during a busy weekday, it may cause more damage than out in a open plain, due to more people being in the vicinity of a downtown metro tornado. This is a fake picture of tornadoes over New York City, but only used to illustrate that tornadoes to affect major downtowns.
Tornadoes have struck 4 out of the 5 boroughs of New York City, Manhattan is the only borough that has been spared. In 2000, an F3 tornado ripped through downtown Fort Worth, Texas, shattering glass from skyscrapers. The Bank One building was closed for a week and the storm left 2 people dead.
Another tornado smashed through downtown Atlanta in 2008. The EF2 tornado broke windows in the CNN center and even sucking out computers and leaving 1 person dead.
In 1997, an F1 tornado moved through downtown Miami, destroying property but luckily no one was injured or killed.
So major metropolitan areas are not spared tornadoes, in fact, they do more damage in major cities because of the shear amount of people and property that they affect versus open plains states. This is just a handful of examples, however a multitude of major metro downtowns have been hit by tornadoes. As severe weather season ramps up, be sure to keep it right here for any updates on the forecast.