2013 Year in Tornadoes – The Good and Bad


Damage from an EF-5 tornado in Moore, OK in May of 2013

2013 has, fortunately, been a relatively quiet year for tornadoes.  Normally, about 1200 twisters touch down in the U.S. each year with only 739  being recorded in 2013 so far.  However, the number of tornado deaths is still troubling.  As of September 30th, 45 people have been killed in tornadoes in 2013 – the same number of people killed in all of 2010.  But here’s a startling stat – three years ago there were 21 killer tornadoes.  This year, it took only nine to kill the same number of people. Many of those deaths occurred during the two Oklahoma tornado outbreaks in May (The Moore, OK event and the El Reno, OK event).

What’s the takeaway?  Even in down years, you must stay alert when severe weather is in the forecast.  All it takes is one big storm to cause mass devastation.  Pay attention to forecasts, know your plan and have a way to hear warnings.  Even in the Oklahoma outbreaks which were well forecast and well warned, I personally saw people interviewed who said they had no warning.  In fact, they DID have warning – they just didn’t hear it.  That, in my view, is one of the greatest challenges facing the warning process today – making sure everyone in the path of a dangerous storm at least knows it’s coming for them.  When you formulate your plan for your family, include a way to hear the warnings.  Here’s a previous post on just how to do that HERE.

We are entering the fall severe weather season when the weather can again become active as the seasons change from summer to fall and the jet stream strengthens and begins it’s migration south.  Hopefully, the remainder of the year will stay relatively calm for tornadoes as well…


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