Author: Mary Knapp

When winter is in the air, many people think tornadoes are no longer a possibility. In reality, Kansas has seen tornadoes in EVERY month of the year. It is true that they are more common in the spring – May has the highest average, and accounts for 38% of all tornadoes reported. Still the winter months of December, January and February have all reported tornadoes -- a total of 49 since 1950 -- and account for 1 percent of the total reported. If you add November, the number jumps 144 tornadoes and to 3 percent of the total. As with spring events, the tornadoes are formed when a cold air mass displaces a warmer air mass. Unlike the spring events, the cold air tends to be more extreme and a tornado in winter is often followed by a blizzard.

Tornadoes by month (Weather Data Library)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library