US Tornadoes Surge Toward Record

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There have been 570 tornadoes so far this year, a spike that takes the number well above average. With an increase in unsettled weather, the figure could break the record for tornadoes in a single year.

The tornado season varies across the country by region. In the Southeast it is March and April. In the upper Midwest it is in June and July. May is the peak month nationwide.

According National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate.gov:

The 2017 tornado season across the United States has gotten off to an active start. As of April 17, 570 tornadoes have been reported (preliminarily), which is almost a hundred more than average. The season jumped out of the gate with an incredibly active January: 134 tornadoes in total—more than triple the long-term average—and an especially radical departure from the past three years, during which the average number of January tornados was just 16.

Annual tornado insured property losses can top $10 billion a year. Insured losses from tornadoes and severe weather reached $8.6 billion in 2015 and $12.3 billion in 2014.

While the current pace might make 2017 a record year for tornado activity, there is a chance this activity will taper off in the next few months. Climate.gov reports:

As for the current tornado season, with a preliminary total of 558 tornadoes, the 2017 season is already more than halfway to the seasonal total of just a year ago. However, an overactive start to the tornado season doesn’t mean it will stay that way.

Nevertheless, the odds are that this season will produce a number of storms that will be well above the average for others.