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Get Our Tornado Season Summary!

Get Our Tornado Season Summary!

Spring is here! While that means longer days, more sunlight, warmer weather, and the return of color to the natural world, it also means something more unpleasant: the start of tornado season.

While tornadoes can occur at any time of the year, tornado season is a traditional period of peak activity from March through early July. Each year, an average of 1,200 tornadoes touch down in the United States, and the vast majority form in the spring and early summer. Similarly, while tornadoes can touch down just about anywhere in North America, they are most likely to occur in the area known as “Tornado Alley,” which runs roughly from the Central Plains from Texas to Nebraska. Within that area, Texas has the highest number of tornadoes, with an average of 124 each year.

On average, Tornadoes kill about 70 Americans each year, and injure another 1,500. Then there are years like last year, with approximately 1,900 tornadoes, 550 deaths, and more than 5,300 injuries. That’s a 63% increase in tornadoes, and a nearly eight-fold increase in deaths! Those statistics make 2011 the second worst year for tornadoes in United States history, after 1925, the year the infamous Tri-State Tornado killed 695 people in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.

The opening months of 2012 have already brought us more than 60 tornadoes, including some big ones at the end of February and beginning of March. Tornado season is just getting started and we have already seen 55 deaths. So, will we see another year like last year?

In the 2012 Farmers’ Almanac, we predicted a pretty active tornado season in the Midwest, primarily in May and June. While tornado season is just getting geared up for the year, we don’t expect this year’s season to be quite as fatal as last year’s. A season like 2011 is extremely rare, occurring only once in several decades.

Want a more detailed predictions of when and where tornadoes will hit in the coming months? Visit our long-range forecast!

19 Responses

  1. no tornados shelton its almost 2015

    by hair man 56789422 on Dec 19, 2014 at 9:24 am

  2. John,
    Our forecasts cannot pinpoint the exact location of a tornado. Even the National Weather Service has difficulty doing that within a couple of hours, and our forecast is made more than two years in advance.

    Anywhere in North America can get tornadoes. Some areas are just more prone to it than others. Never assume you’re safe just because it hasn’t happened before.

    by Jaime McLeod on Jun 19, 2012 at 9:05 am

  3. Can Kingston On get tornadoes and if so are they likley to be big, because in history we have never gotten a tornadoe

    by John Cascade on Jun 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm



    by MR SHELTON on Apr 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm

  5. Hi Gene,
    This is actually a myth. Europe can and does get tornadoes. Hurricanes are another matter. Europe gets the battering winds from the sea, but because they must travel all the way across the Atlantic ocean from the tropics, they are no longer considered tropical storms when they arrive. Caleb sent a more complete answer to your question, but we’re saving it for an “Ask Caleb” feature. Look for it in a couple of weeks.

    by Jaime McLeod on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:40 am

  6. J. Miller – We’re calling for high humidity and average rainfall this year for much of the southern U.S., including Oklahoma.

    by Jaime McLeod on Mar 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

  7. Karen,
    Alberta should see some violent weather in June, including a few tornado threats. If you have a free membership, you can see up to four months of forecasts here:

    by Jaime McLeod on Mar 27, 2012 at 10:17 am

  8. will there be lots of stormy weather including tornadoes in northeastern alberta, canada this summer

    by karen on Mar 25, 2012 at 12:49 am

  9. Was wondering what the spring and summer months will be for southern Okla. Will the drought and severe storms be as bad or worse in 2012?

    by J. Miller on Mar 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm

  10. Other countries get storms that are similiar, they call them a name we are not taught.

    by Kathy on Mar 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm

  11. Will ky have big storms this season. We sure don’t need anymore.

    by Stephanie slone on Mar 22, 2012 at 4:42 pm

  12. Why is it that europe does not get tornados or hurricanes?

    by Gene Segretto on Mar 22, 2012 at 8:21 am

  13. I hope there won’t be any tornadoes in Joplin or Carthage, Missouri in the future!!
    The population need closure…

    by Chuck on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:08 pm

  14. Does anyone ever wonder if all those windmills in the plains states have anything to do with our chaotic weather?

    by Marilyn on Mar 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm

  15. March 2, gave us a really bad streak of about 3-4 tornadoes, one very close to where I work at a school. Scarry, all those children, I’m just thankful it missed us. But a lot of the children lost their homes & all their belongings.

    by Betty Smith on Mar 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm

  16. windsor ontario to the quebec all surrounnding areas will get huge storm this spring and summer get ready for its going to be long one.

    by on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm

  17. The reason for all the big changes in the weather. Magnetic North has jumped continents into Russia. I know specifically that it moved 126 miles from 1/1/11 to 6/1/11. Additional movement occured thru out the remainder of the year. Earths equator is moving North. USDA reclassifies zones. What grew in Louisianna, now grows in North Carolina.

    by Marshall on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:05 am

  18. Well, the forecast for Michigan last month was waaaayyyy off! We just had a few tornadoes and Farmers Almanac hadn’t predicted bad weather. Last Summer it was predicted to be rainy and we had 5 weeks of drought. And very little precipitation and mild weather for winter. Michigan should not be included in the Midwest region because we are affected by the Great Lakes and have very different weather. Your predictions have been way off….

    by Jillian on Mar 21, 2012 at 9:15 am



    by MR SHELTON on Mar 21, 2012 at 12:06 am

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