2013 tornado numbers are down, heading toward 10-year low - KMSP-TV

2013 tornado numbers are down, heading toward 10-year low

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Many around here may not realize it, but this year's severe weather statistics are well below the norm, even in Minnesota. Now, the Twin Cities metro dealt with one of the most widespread severe weather events in history dropping trees and power lines across the area sending hundreds of thousands into the dark for days. This coming on the heels of what seemed like a never ending snow season and an extremely wet May.

But it's these very events that actually lead to much of the damage from those mid-June storms.

Yes, the winds were strong in the storms, gusting to 75mph in some cases, however, with the extremely wet ground; roots aren't able to have as much success holding up trees in strong winds...so they topple. This was the case with the couple different severe weather events for the Metro in June.

If May had been fairly benign, there may not have been nearly as much damage, but we will never really know for sure. Regardless though, severe weather activity is below average across much of the nation, particularly tornadoes.

The Moore, Oklahoma tornado is fresh in everybody's mind and was incredibly devastating, but remember, that's just one tornado in a nation that averages nearly 1300 a year.

Here is where the country is so far. These numbers show the amount of storm reports we have seen so far of tornadoes.

Currently, the nation sits around 650 tornado reports. This is a little over half of the average amount we typically see by the middle of July. But remember that these are just storm reports and not actual tornadoes. The National Weather Service sends a crew out to do an assessment after every single tornado report to see if it really was a tornado, and if it was, how many of them there were. Often times, smaller tornadoes are only seen by a few people and so they will only get one report (if any at all). But with the larger tornadoes, say with the Moore, Oklahoma tornado, there may be dozens of reports from the same one. So the National Weather Service has to compile all of these and find out not only their accuracy, but sort the reports that are coming from the same tornado. Once they do that, they are recorded in the official records. Here is what they have recorded so far.

Notice that the numbers are lower than the preliminary estimates… something that's very common. Also notice that this year's tornado count is nearing the record lowest year this far into the season. Well, Minnesota is no different. Here is the average annual amount of tornadoes state by state.

Minnesota averages 37 tornadoes annually but can range from zero to over a hundred on a year to year basis. Here are the preliminary storm reports so far from this year across the state of Minnesota.

Clearly, hundreds of high wind reports, but just 5 tornadoes thus far. Now, it's nothing to get too excited over because we are rolling through peak tornado season for the state (usually July and August) so we have several more weeks to go before we get too concerned about the numbers. But it will be something to watch.

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