Slow Start to Tornado Season

This tornado season is one of the slowest starts since reliable records began in the early 1950s. The storm prediction center released the follow graph early today with the caption, “2014 tornado activity through 21 April is estimated to be at a record low level.”

Tornado Stats

Now this is a good thing for the public, but not so much for storm chasers. The chart above shows the distribution of tornado counts through this point in the year back to 1953. It is fair to say that 2014 is now the least active tornado year, to date, in at least the past 60 years. Another piece of good news with this slowest start to tornado season is this is the one of the longest stretches of time since January 1st without a tornado-related fatality. Only one other year since 1950 has gone this long without a tornado death, and that was back in 2002. You may recall that last year the record was broken for the longest stretch without a fatal tornado. This record was 219 consecutive days.

2014 is also among the lowest three years on record for the number of tornadoes through mid-April. The data has been adjusted for modern-day inflation in tornado counts, and this was done due to the population growth and the surge in storm chasers who now document almost every tornado. The chart below shows you just how slow this season is off to.

Tornado StatsNow this doesn’t mean that the rest of the season will be a dud, as there are a couple of chances for severe weather over the next week across the plains. We hope that we can break last years record of 219 consecutive days without a fatal tornado as we never like seeing tornadoes taking a life.  However, if there is a risk for tornadoes, we will keep you covered with the very latest updates and live video from the field. Until then, enjoy the quiet weather pattern!

Zach Sharpe

My name is Zach Sharpe. I am the president and forecaster for the Iowa Storm Chasing Network. You can find me on Twitter @Stormchaserzach and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/stormchaserzach/

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