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Low Tornado Numbers and Low Tornado Deaths, May 2012-April 2013
NOAA Weather Partners ^ | May 1st, 2013 | Harold Brooks

Posted on 05/05/2013 2:10:46 PM PDT by neverdem

Updated 2 May 2013 to correct typo on date of previous low tornado count

The 12-month period from May 2012 to April 2013 was remarkable for the absence of tornado activity and tornado impacts in the United States.

We can start by looking at the number of EF1 and stronger tornadoes during that period. A final count is available through January 2013 and we have a pretty good estimate of how many occurred in February through April, although final numbers won’t be available until July. Although the 12 month total may change a little bit with the final data, it’s unlikely to change enough to affect the results here.

From May 2012-April 2013, the estimate is that there were 197 tornadoes rated EF1 or stronger. Where does that stack up historically? Well, we have pretty good data back to 1954. During that time, the previous low for (E)F1 and stronger tornadoes in a 12 consecutive calendar month period was 247, from June 1991-May 1992. The next lowest (ignoring the overlapping periods, such as April 2012-March 2013) was 270 from November 1986-October 1987. The lowest non-overlapping 12 month counts on record from 1954-present, with the starting month, are:

197 May 2012 (preliminary)
247 June 1991
270 November 1986
289 December 2001
298 June 2000

 

This apparent record was set less than two years after the record for most EF1+ tornadoes in a 12-month period was set, with 1050 from June 2010-May 2011. The time series showing the evolution of the number of (E)F1+ tornadoes since 1954 is below. The number of (E)F1+ tornadoes in the 12 months beginning with the time on the x-axis is plotted for every month starting in January 1954 and ending in May 2012, the most recent point.

ef1plus12

The death toll from May 2012-April 2013 was 7. National Weather Service official statistics go back to January 1950, but we can extend that by using the work of Tom Grazulis from the Tornado Project, who has collected tornado fatality information back into the 17th century. The data are reasonably good back to 1875, but it’s still possible that there are some missed fatalities, particularly as we go back farther in time. So, where does 7 fatalities in 12 consecutive calendar months stack up? Again, here are the lowest totals, going back to 1875, for 12 consecutive months, with the starting month. (For overlapping periods, such as April 2012-March 2013 and May 2012-April 2013, only the lowest period is listed.)

5 September 1899
7 May 2012
8 August 1991
12 November 1909
12 May 1940

 

Harold Brooks is a research meteorologist with the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma.

This blog is intended to facilitate communication about the impacts of selected severe weather events, particularly major tornadoes, in the United States. We hope it will allow us to assist interested parties to understand what we at the NOAA Weather Partners in Norman, Oklahoma have been able to gather about the events. It is not intended to provide critical weather forecast information, nor is it intended to provide information on a broad range of research topics associated with severe weather.


TOPICS: Weather
KEYWORDS: agw; climatechange; extremeweather; extremeweatherevents; globalwarming; globalwarminghoax; noaa; severeweatherevents

1 posted on 05/05/2013 2:10:47 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem; SunkenCiv; All

It would seem that this correlates with the severe drought conditions recently. Does also correlate in previous years?


2 posted on 05/05/2013 2:15:19 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: gleeaikin

It’s been the coldest spring in my memory.

Hot weather and cold fronts make for tornadoes.

Wait until it gets hot.


3 posted on 05/05/2013 2:16:20 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: neverdem

File under : “Probably Shouldn’t Have Said That”


4 posted on 05/05/2013 2:17:45 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: neverdem

Hurricanes are also off.

Drought is gonna be a bitch.


5 posted on 05/05/2013 2:23:41 PM PDT by mylife (Opinions $1, Half Baked Ideas 50c)
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To: neverdem

http://www.thestormshop.com/


6 posted on 05/05/2013 2:25:19 PM PDT by mylife (Opinions $1, Half Baked Ideas 50c)
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To: Venturer

I live in tornado alley and so far the season has been way too cold. We just had some snow the other day which just isn’t common here. It’s normally around 100 degrees by now and we’re still fighting frost and 45-50 degree temps, with very occasional near 70’s and a couple of near 80 degree days. We’ve actually been getting moisture.

If it was hotter, it would be dryer so the cool is holding some moisture. BUT, all the groceries that should be ready now, aren’t. And the wheat production is suffering every bit as badly as if the drought were baking away.

We just haven’t had the heat mixed with the coldfronts to cause the wind and clouds to whirl about.

But when it does warm up, well, it’s hard to say right now. I think tornadoes are merely delayed, but I sure hope I am very wrong!


7 posted on 05/05/2013 2:31:03 PM PDT by PrairieLady2
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To: PrairieLady2

Same here we had 5 “of snow in NW AR the other day!
But is a good thing for the people but the weather bums have no death and destruction to report on and is the real jest of the article!


8 posted on 05/05/2013 2:34:26 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: neverdem

I suspect once it warms up it’s still gonna be a doozy of a season. May and June can still be very active months.


9 posted on 05/05/2013 2:34:37 PM PDT by Marathoner (Impeach Obama, Holder, Big Sis, and throw in IL Gov Quinn for good measure)
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To: mylife

This year will be an active hurricane season according to weather predictors plus Joe Bastardi who is the absolute expert. He is seldom wrong and he says there will be more than average hurricanes.

I always find what his prediction is because I’m in the path of those that come into Galveston.


10 posted on 05/05/2013 2:42:57 PM PDT by Marcella (Prepping can save your life today. Going Galt is freedom.)
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To: gleeaikin

Tornado season more active = proof of global warming
Tornado season less active = proof of global warming


11 posted on 05/05/2013 2:45:22 PM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: gleeaikin

My view about that is a little “out there”, maybe later... :’)


12 posted on 05/05/2013 2:46:27 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: neverdem
The 12-month period from May 2012 to April 2013 was remarkable for the absence of tornado activity and tornado impacts in the United States.

"Well the facts are clear: it's obviously a sign of global warming!"


13 posted on 05/05/2013 2:51:06 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (Fighting Obama without Boehner & McConnell is like going deer hunting without your accordion)
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To: COBOL2Java

Remember: it’s not global warming anymore...it’s “climate change”...so if it gets warmer, it counts...and if it gets cooler, it counts. If it stays the same...then “climate change” is merely in abeyance...just metaphorically catching it’s breath...get it?


14 posted on 05/05/2013 2:54:48 PM PDT by kjo (+)
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To: neverdem

Soon, the EPA will put tornadoes on the Endangered Species List.


15 posted on 05/05/2013 2:57:25 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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16 posted on 05/05/2013 2:59:26 PM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: mylife

Thanks for the link.


17 posted on 05/05/2013 3:05:42 PM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: jiggyboy

I see you are an expert on global warming!

lol


18 posted on 05/05/2013 3:10:08 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: neverdem

My friend Sams sight.


19 posted on 05/05/2013 3:17:10 PM PDT by mylife (Opinions $1, Half Baked Ideas 50c)
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To: neverdem

I think the change this year is in part due to how the jet stream is tracking this year. Many other North American air currents are affected by what the jet stream is doing.

Certainly 2011 does appear to be have been unusual year in North American tornado history, and this year appears closer to norm, so far, and there was an article last year that related jet stream behavior and its seasonal variations to the occurance of tornados.

http://news.discovery.com/earth/frequent-tornadoes-a-symptom-of-jet-stream-change-110602.htm


20 posted on 05/05/2013 3:24:23 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: gleeaikin

Without really doing research, drought doesn’t seem to have a great effect on tornadoes.

1988-1990, for example, were drought years in much of the Midwest. There was not not a particularly low number of tornadoes.

Low tornado numbers in 2000 and 2001. Closest noticeable droughts were 1999 and 2002.


21 posted on 05/05/2013 3:29:22 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: neverdem
(Please pretend I posted the Ohnos gif.)

The 12-month period from May 2012 to April 2013 was remarkable for the absence of tornado activity and tornado impacts in the United States.

Oh no! Everybody run and hide. That damned Global Warming will kill us all.

22 posted on 05/05/2013 3:37:59 PM PDT by upchuck (To the faceless, jack-booted government bureaucrat who just scanned this post: SCREW YOU!)
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To: jjotto; neverdem; Venturer; Marathoner; mylife; gleeaikin
Winter 2011 into 2012 was really warm for us, then spring in 2012 was really warm, and then summer laster year was brutally hot and we had a massive drought.
This Winter 2012 into 2013 was mediocre, then spring has been brutally cold and just a lot of rain so far.
I'm don't know much more than a layman when it comes to weather, so I'm not sure how winters & springs almost complete opposites of each other equals the same result (brutally hot summer with drought).
I'm betting on a mediocre summer that isn't anywhere near as hot as last years was, and a normal amount of rain throughout the summer months.
23 posted on 05/05/2013 3:41:06 PM PDT by brent13a
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To: brent13a

hehe

Too bad they don’t teach the application of “regression to the mean” any more!


24 posted on 05/05/2013 3:44:44 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto
Too bad they don’t teach the application of “regression to the mean” any more!

My statistics classes were a long time ago, so I wasn't too proud to look that up....and I agree.
25 posted on 05/05/2013 3:48:44 PM PDT by brent13a
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To: neverdem

It must be global warming causing milder weather. I’m pretty sure the global warming models predicted that.

The reason I’m so sure? Because the global warming models have predicted everything EXACTLY like it’s been happening! Everything! (All predictions after the fact, of course.)


26 posted on 05/05/2013 3:49:00 PM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: neverdem

This is obviously caused by globull warming.


27 posted on 05/05/2013 4:03:34 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Inside every liberal and WOD defender is a totalitarian screaming to get out.)
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To: brent13a
"I'm betting on a mediocre summer that isn't anywhere near as hot as last years was, and a normal amount of rain throughout the summer months."

I really do hope you're right. Last spring and summer were terribly hot here (Virginia). But our March was the coldest on record, and here it is early May, and we have the heat on. That's a first.

28 posted on 05/05/2013 4:38:27 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon ( (Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization))
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To: COBOL2Java

Al Gore is Fat


29 posted on 05/05/2013 4:39:44 PM PDT by Psiman (PS I am not a crackpot)
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To: neverdem

Obviously a conspiracy headed by Bush and Cheney who manipulate their tornado, earthquake, blizzard, and hurricane machines on whims simply to drive people crazy. And since most libs are crazy, I guess their plans are working.


30 posted on 05/05/2013 4:55:59 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: Wuli

Thanks for the link.


31 posted on 05/05/2013 5:07:44 PM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: PrairieLady2

I hope you are wrong too, but I feel when it gets hot and the cold fronts come in tornadoes will be back.


32 posted on 05/05/2013 7:04:01 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the ping!


33 posted on 05/05/2013 8:16:08 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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