It’s no secret at this point that 2017 has gotten off to an unusually active start in terms of severe weather, and specifically tornadoes, but there’s a new record with the amount of tornadoes that have touched down so far this year across the country.
With 104 tornadoes according to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC)’s preliminary tally so far in April, that now places each of the first four months of the year with at least a hundred tornadoes apiece for the first time in recorded history. According to the SPC, 536 tornadoes have touched down nationwide so far this year, with over 100 each in January, February, March and April. More than tornado numbers, it’s a testament to how repeatedly busy 2017 has been for tornadoes.
Twenty-seven people have died from tornadoes so far in 2017, already far exceeding the 2016 tornado death count of 17.
With the record in mind, it’s important to point out a few notable asterisks to this record. With increases in storm chasers and tornado documentation within the last 10-20 years, tornadoes are far better documented now than ever before, meaning many tornadoes were inevitably missed in years past. Additionally, improvements in technology and radar and satellite meteorology have also better identified tornadoes before and during outbreaks, also helping lead people to spotting them in the first place and better documenting them as they occur. In other words, far more tornadoes are ‘seen’ now, meaning numbers now are higher than before not entirely because of an uptick in severe weather, but also due to improved documentation.
That said, the number shows how not only busy it’s been so far in 2017, but an incredible degree of consistency, particularly in regards to January and February, two of the typically slower tornado months on the calendar.
Stay with WeatherNation for the latest through severe weather season.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Binachi