Tornado Alley’s Most Devastating Years

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Source: NOAA / AOML / Hurricane Research Division

1970
> Tornado-related injuries in 5 alley states: 906 (5th most)
> State with most injuries: Texas (736 injuries)
> State with most fatalities: Texas (51 deaths)
> Number of US-wide tornadoes in 1970: 660 (245 in alley states)

Photo: Storm clouds gather. In 1970, there were 906 injuries related to tornadoes in five tornado alley states.

Source: deepspacedave / Getty Images

1971
> Tornado-related injuries in 5 alley states: 214 (32nd most)
> State with most injuries: Texas (178 injuries)
> State with most fatalities: Texas (2 deaths)
> Number of US-wide tornadoes in 1971: 895 (368 in alley states)

Photo: Familiar vortex of tornado carves through landscape on the American Plains.

Source: Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

1972
> Tornado-related injuries in 5 alley states: 90 (15th fewest)
> State with most injuries: Texas (63 injuries)
> State with most fatalities: Oklahoma (5 deaths)
> Number of US-wide tornadoes in 1972: 744 (280 in alley states)

Photo: A tornado looms on the horizon near Mayfield, Oklahoma.

Source: Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

1973
> Tornado-related injuries in 5 alley states: 552 (11th most)
> State with most injuries: Texas (212 injuries)
> State with most fatalities: Texas (14 deaths)
> Number of US-wide tornadoes in 1973: 1,106 (325 in alley states)

Photo: Tornado damage in Union City, Oklahoma. The National Severe Storms Laboratory was able to document the full cycle of a tornado for the first time from this storm.

Source: Comstock / Getty Images

1974
> Tornado-related injuries in 5 alley states: 597 (8th most)
> State with most injuries: Oklahoma (301 injuries)
> State with most fatalities: Oklahoma (16 deaths)
> Number of US-wide tornadoes in 1974: 956 (238 in alley states)

Photo: A twister slides through an open field. In 1974, 956 tornadoes swept across the U.S.

Source: Courtesy of Ms. Carol A. Silberg via NOAA

1975
> Tornado-related injuries in 5 alley states: 289 (23rd most)
> State with most injuries: Nebraska (141 injuries)
> State with most fatalities: Texas (10 deaths)
> Number of US-wide tornadoes in 1975: 921 (278 in alley states)

Photo: Massive tornado appears near Stapleton International Airport in Denver, Colorado.

Source: Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

1976
> Tornado-related injuries in 5 alley states: 170 (34th most)
> State with most injuries: Oklahoma (77 injuries)
> State with most fatalities: Oklahoma (5 deaths)
> Number of US-wide tornadoes in 1976: 840 (250 in alley states)

Photo: A tornado takes shape outside of Dallas, Texas.

Source: Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

1977
> Tornado-related injuries in 5 alley states: 79 (13th fewest)
> State with most injuries: Texas (59 injuries)
> State with most fatalities: Oklahoma (1 deaths)
> Number of US-wide tornadoes in 1977: 856 (289 in alley states)

Photo: A twister spins near Lakeview, Texas.

Source: Courtesy of NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

1978
> Tornado-related injuries in 5 alley states: 35 (5th fewest)
> State with most injuries: South Dakota (15 injuries)
> State with most fatalities: Kansas (19 deaths)
> Number of US-wide tornadoes in 1978: 795 (255 in alley states)

Photo: A tornado damaged a farm in Newkirk, Oklahoma.

Source: NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

1979
> Tornado-related injuries in 5 alley states: 3823 (The most)
> State with most injuries: Texas (3,646 injuries)
> State with most fatalities: Texas (108 deaths)
> Number of US-wide tornadoes in 1979: 860 (289 in alley states)

Photo: Tornadoes like this one injured 3,823 people in the five tornado alley states, the most since 1950.