It’s incredible just how many tornadoes we have had across the United States in the past month. I was doing some digging for final numbers, but they are not out yet. I did find some preliminary numbers through April 29th, so that’s pretty close.
Here’s what the Storm Prediction Center says on their storm reports page…
Through April 29th, there is a preliminary count of 871 tornadoes across the country. Even though they say that we shouldn’t compare preliminary numbers to actual numbers from past years, I’m going to anyway. (Look at me breaking the rules!)
Here we go:
April 2011 – 871+ tornadoes
April 2010 – 139 tornadoes
April 2009 – 226 tornadoes
April 2008 – 189 tornadoes
3-year average (not counting this year because it’s still preliminary) – 185 tornadoes for April
And get this… looking back through the last 3 years of tornado data, the most active month was May of 2008 at 462 tornadoes. By the time the final numbers come in, April 2011 may double that!
And with the number of tornadoes being what they were, we were bound to have a staggering number of tornado deaths and that was the case. Preliminary numbers show 346 deaths due to the tornadoes. The reason for this is most likely due to the location of the tornadoes. The day of the Tuscaloosa tornado caused nearly half of these. Looking back through the information from that day, there were 147 deaths (if I counted right, which I think I did). You can count for yourself and read through the storm reports, which include tornadoes, hail, and wind events by clicking here.
Historically, we the the most tornadoes in May. Let’s wait and see how that plays out!
By the way, I just wanted to add a piece of commentary on this. I know that we’re seeing more tornadoes recently and I wonder if that is because of the increased populations and increased number of people with camera phones. By capturing these on phones, there’s more of a verification and thus increased numbers of tornadoes in the records. — Just curious.