2014: One of the Least Active Tornado Seasons in History

The National Weather Service constantly measures tornado activity.

For January through May 2014 it was one of the ten least active starts to the tornado year since 1953.

As of May 2014 there have been 152 confirmed tornadoes (5 of those have been in Texoma).  This is considered to be 60% of normal activity for tornadoes across the United States.

The five tornadoes that hit Texoma this year (2014) have been:

1 in Childress County, rural
1 in Wichita County between northern Wichita Falls and Burkburnett, rural
2 in Stephens County
1 in the Wichita Mountain Wilderness Refugee in Comanche County, rural

The NWS is using a database of tornado activity from the past 61 years (since 1953).

Here are the ten least active years in order:

1987:  97
2005:  107
1992:  126
2002:  128
1969:  138
1958:  142
1994:  142
1988:  149
2014:  152
1993:  153

Here are the ten most active years in order:

1975:  345
1982:  357
1999:  357
1957:  362
1976:  372
1965:  375
1974:  431
1973:  449
2008:  500
2011:  741

The tornadoes counted in this census include only tornadoes that are EF1 or greater it does not include EF0 tornadoes.

See the chart attached.

It is important to note that the year still has four months left to it.  Many things can cause the tornado count to jump up much higher than it is.  Examples of such events can be tropical systems making landfall spawning violent tornadoes.  And, in the autumn there is a secondary increase in severe weather and tornadic activity.  Recently the strongest November tornado in history hit Tipton, OK (in Texoma) in November of 2011.

Only time will tell if this remains a rather inactive year or if the current and developing weather patterns i.e. El Nino will have a dramatic effect on the total number of tornadoes for year 2014.

KFDX Meteorologist Bryan Rupp

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