So I was poking around on NOAA's Storm Prediction Center website and found some interesting tornado statistics. April 2011 has been an incredible month considering the amount of tornadoes and severe weather outbreaks the United States have seen. I decided to have a look around and see which years hold some records. One of the records I looked at is: "Which month since 1950 holds the record for most tornadoes?" Here are the top five:
- May 2003 - 543
- June 1992 - 399
- May 1995 - 391
- June 1998 - 376
- May 1991 - 335
To see the rest of the list, visit this link: Tornado Statistics. Now of course this does notinclude April 2011. There are some discrepancies amongst media/government websites with regards to how many tornadoes April 2011 has seen so far. Based on preliminary reports (not confirmed tornadoes), NOAA's SPC has received 559 reports of tornadoes in April 2011 as of yesterday morning (April 23). Again, I stress, these are the preliminary reports, not the confirmed reports. There tends to be numerous duplications in tornado reports due to the fact that various people are seeing the tornado from various vantage points. Until proper surveys are done, we cannot know if it was, for example, three tornadoes or one tornado.
It is interesting to see where the tornadoes have been occurring this year so far. Here is a graphic, again from NOAA's SPC, showing where the tornadoes have occurred up until April 23, 2011:
Click on the image above and it will take you to the statistics site where I got the graphic from. Some concern for storm chasing this year is that most will be chasing in the non-traditional Tornado Alley. One of those reasons is the influence of La Nina and ENSO in transition from La Nina to neutral. There are several papers written about the effects of the ENSO cycle on tornadoes and tornado outbreaks but unfortunately there just isn't enough research on the matter to make any solid conclusions. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the severe weather season in the U.S. pans out and if the potential tornado outbreaks in May and June 2011 stick to traditional areas of Tornado Alley. It will also be interesting to see how the severe weather season in Canada will shape up, especially around the Great Lakes.