Tornado Season USA

Tornado season in the USA

Tornado season. When exactly is it in the USA?

Tornado season doesn’t span an “exact” time frame. It occurs at different times in different regions of the United States. The season typically shifts northward from early spring into the mid-summer months.

Tornado season in the USA is primarily spring and summer when stronger winds, wind shear, and atmospheric instability are present. But tornadoes can occur anytime with the right atmospheric conditions. More specific months are listed below.

Again, the important thing to remember is that a tornado can happen at any time of the year if the conditions are right. The ‘season’ is when they’re more likely than otherwise to form. For example, I recall a few years ago during the middle of winter while in Naples, Florida, a morning of tornadoes (albeit F0 variety)!

That said, the following regions of the United States will experience tornado season during these months:

Tornado Season Months in the USA

Image: The 1999 Bridge Creek-Moore tornado, one of the strongest tornadoes ever recorded, is seen as a ‘wedge’ near peak intensity (source).

Tornado season months when they historically happen more often than other months in these regions of the USA (tornado season per state list below).

APRIL Tornado Season > Gulf Coast

MAY – early JUNE Tornado Season > Southern Plains

JUNE – JULY Tornado Season > Northern Plains, Upper Midwest

JULY Tornado Season > Mid-Atlantic

Worldwide, most tornadoes occur in the late afternoon, between 15:00 (3 pm) and 19:00 (7 pm) local time, with a peak near 17:00 (5 pm). That said, destructive tornadoes can occur at any time of day.

Particularly during tornado season, it is essential for your severe weather safety and preparedness – to have a Weather Alert Radio.

Midland – WR120B

Best weather alert radio by Midland

 [ Read: Signs Of A Tornado – 10 Ways To Know A Tornado Is Coming ]

Tornado Season – State List – Months of Peak Occurrence

EF4 Tornado

data source: National Weather Service

Alabama – March through May, November
Alaska – NA
Arizona – July through September
Arkansas – March through May
California – January through April
Colorado – May through June, August
Connecticut – June through August
Delaware – June through August
Florida – May through July
Georgia – March through May
Hawaii – NA
Idaho – June through August
Illinois – April through June
Indiana – April through June
Iowa – April through June
Kansas – April through June
Kentucky – April through June
Louisiana – March through May, November
Maine – June through August
Maryland – May through July
Massachusetts – June through August
Michigan – May through July
Minnesota – May through July
Mississippi – March through June, November
Missouri – April through June
Montana – May through July
Nebraska – May through July
Nevada – May through August
New Hampshire – June through August
New Jersey – June through August
New Mexico – July through September
New York- June through August
North Carolina – March through June
North Dakota – June through August
Ohio- April through June
Oklahoma – April through June
Oregon – April through June
Pennsylvania – May through July
Rhode Island – August
South Carolina – March through May
South Dakota – June through August
Tennessee – March through May
Texas – April through June
Utah – May through June, August
Vermont – June through August
Virginia – April through June
Washingthroughn – April through June
West Virginia – May through July
Wisconsin – May through July
Wyoming – May through July

The following map from Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) indicates tornado probability in the United States.

The dates (tornado season) of maximum tornado threat for locations with at least 0.25 tornado days per year

Tornado season map of the USA

Image: Climatological Estimates of Local Daily Tornado Probability for the United States (Dr. Harold Brooks)

Tornado Tracks Map

Tornado tracks map USA


Full size Torndao Tracks Map (1920×1046)

locations of tornadoes in the USA

Image: NOAA Storm Prediction Center

Most tornadoes in a month

The record for most tornadoes in any month since modern tornado record keeping began in 1950 was set in April 2011, with 817 tornadoes.

The Widest tornado

On 31 May 2013, a deadly, multiple-vortex tornado near El Reno, OK carved an official maximum path width of 2.6 miles, the largest ever recorded.

The Largest tornado swarm

The greatest tornado swarm was 175 on 27-28 April 2011. Previous to that was the “Super Outbreak” of 147 tornadoes on 3-4 April 1974. The 1974 outbreak holds the record for the most F5 tornadoes in a single day, with seven.

Most deaths from a tornado outbreak (modern era)

In the modern era (1950 onward), the Dixie outbreak of 27 April 2011 (12Z-12Z) set a record with about 316 people killed

Most deaths from a tornado outbreak

The “Tri-state” tornado of 18 March 1925 killed 695 people along a 219-mile-long track across parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, producing F5 damage.

Average number of tornado deaths per year

On average, tornadoes kill about 60 people per year.

The city with the most tornadoes

Oklahoma City.

Read: [ Tornado Alley, Tornado Facts, And How They Form ]

Read: [ Best Weather Alert Radio – Which One Should I Get? ]

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Read: [ 10 Ways To Know If A Tornado Is Coming ]

Read: [ Tornado Warning: What To Do ]