Insider Blog: Too early to tell, but March may have set a national tornado record

Severe weather has been quite active in the United States recently, including two major outbreaks in two weeks for those in the Deep South. This led to reports of hundreds of tornadoes across the country throughout March.

We saw 255 tornadoes reported for the month. If that sounds high, it probably is; we probably won’t get such a high final total. These initial reports typically include a bit of duplicate information, but may also involve a few thunderstorm damage reports that may be confused with tornado reports. So after some quality control, the National Weather Service will likely land on a much lower number, perhaps something closer to what we usually see.

Our average from 1991 to 2010 is an average over 20 years without counting the next 10 years (typically 30) thanks to some preliminary data, but our average is about 80 tornadoes for the month of March. This includes 2017 where we saw our high of 192 for the month of March, with the highest value dating back to 1950. So 255 would be a little high end, but we still have the potential to set a record.

So in this very busy and potentially record-breaking month, what did Missouri see? Well, for this month we’ve only seen one tornado in the entire state, it’s near St. Joseph, just on the east side of I-29, with damage as high as EF-1 damage. Of course, this is all preliminary and subject to change.

About Jimmie P. Ricks

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