The scenes of utter devastation have been played out across the nation this spring as tornadoes rip across the landscape. The latest statistics for the tornado season show clearly that the death toll has been staggering and the number of twisters record-setting.
On Sunday, May 22, 2011 a single tornado ripped through the town of Joplin, Missouri claiming at least 118 lives and destroying a large portion of the town. The twister now ranks as the single deadliest tornado in the past 64 years and the eighth deadliest in U.S. history.
- Click here to view the top 25 deadliest tornadoes in history
The month of May had started out relatively quietly with below normal levels of tornado activity. That has quickly changed as 110 tornadoes have been reported so far this month, most of those in the past three days.
On average May sees 298 tornadoes during the month with the most having been seen in May 2003 when 542 were reported. A major severe weather outbreak is forecast for today so it is not outside the realm of possibilities that May 2011 will exceed the average.
A record setting month of April
April 2011 will go into the history books as one of the deadliest in history as a record setting number of tornadoes struck the nation.
In all, 875 tornadoes were reported, more than in any month since modern record keeping began in 1950. The previous record was 542 tornadoes set in May 2003. April 1974 previously had the record for the most April tornadoes with 267.
The April tornado outbreak that struck from the 25th to the 28th of the month set records as well.
More tornadoes were reported in the 24 hour period on the 27th than in any other in history. Further, the death toll of 314 for the 27th was the fourth deadliest single day for tornadoes in U.S. history.
Death toll for 2011 tornado season reaches ‘top 10’ status
The April outbreak and the EF-4 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on Sunday have created a staggering death toll. Adding the SPC’s latest count and media reports the seasonal death toll is at 483 thus far. This puts 2011 into the books as the eighth deadliest in U.S. history.
- Click here to view the top 25 deadliest tornado seasons
While still early in the severe weather season, approximately 1,000 tornadoes have already been reported thus far in 2011. On average the United States tallies 1,274 during an entire year. The most ever recorded occurred in 2004 when 1,817 twisters were reported.
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