All Weather News

Busiest Tornado Year in U.S. Since 2011

12 Nov 2017, 2:23 pm

The preliminary numbers are in, and it shows how busy of a severe weather and tornado season it’s been so far in 2017.

With still a month and a half before the final figures are tabulated, there have been 1,262 confirmed tornadoes nationwide so far this year, making it the busiest year for tornadoes since the historic 2011 year, according to official numbers compiled by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC).

In an average full year, about 1,250 tornadoes touch down, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. The 2017-to-date figures are already above that threshold, with still another six weeks left in the calendar year.

A busy spring, highlighted by over 200 tornadoes in both April and May, put 2017 on a fast track, partially helped by a warmer-than-usual Gulf of Mexico. Warm Gulf temperatures add instability and help fuel severe weather development, and that contributed to not only an active spring, but January, February and March had well above-average tornado figures in the South and Southeast, in part due to the hot Gulf.

Thirty-four people have died from tornadoes nationwide in 2017, slightly less than 2014 (47) and 2015 (36) totals.

Overall, severe weather reports are also up in 2017, with nearly 21,000 total reports nationwide since the start of the year, the most since 2012, which featured over 22,000. Severe weather reports include tornadoes, straight-line winds and hail.

Fortunately, the near-term forecast, mostly due to a sharp cool spell across much of the country, should keep things mostly tame severe weather-wise through the rest of the week, although the weekend may bring more storms to parts of the Midwest.

As always, stay with WeatherNation for the latest on your severe weather forecast.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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