Author: Mary Knapp

Spring as been slow to arrive this year and so has the tornado season. Since 2000, the January to April period has averaged over 20 tornadoes per year. The most for the first quarter of the year was recorded in 2012, when 66 tornadoes were reported. In 2013, only one tornado had been observed by the end of April – and that was reported on April 7th. The earliest start to the tornado season in the new millennium was in 2006, when the first tornado of the year was reported on January 28th. However, a slow start to the season doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods. Usually, May is our busiest month with an average of almost 24 tornadoes. And in the slow year of 2013, there were 46 tornadoes reported in May, almost double the average.

Figure 1 Tornadoes by Month (WDL)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library