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Peak tornado season may set record for zero deaths

By Patrick O'Driscoll, USA TODAY, 7-1-05

DENVER — June was on track Thursday to become the third month in a row without someone being killed in a tornado.

That has never happened during the peak of the tornado season since the government began keeping weather records in 1880. This year, tornadoes have killed five people: four in January, one in March. Since 1990, an average of 51 people have died each year.

"Consider this a blessing," said Dan McCarthy, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.

more:
http://www.usatoday.com/weather/stormcente...no-deaths_x.htm
 
Ah, but what can this be atrributed to?

1. Better safety during tornado season? ie, faster warnings, more people being aware of the weather?

OR:

2. Tornado season sucked this year :)

I'm kind of in the middle...
 
Awesome stat. Yay!

It got me thinking, though....

Were there any significant events that were anywhere near any "populated" areas? I don't recall any.

Bob
 
Have there even been any F4's this year? All I can remember are a handful of F3's. I would think the lack of violent tornadoes contributed significantly to the low number of deaths.
 
Remember -- mother nature has an odd way of catching up with such records.

Mike
 
Ah, but what can this be atrributed to?

1. Better safety during tornado season? ie, faster warnings, more people being aware of the weather?

OR:

2. Tornado season sucked this year :)

I'm kind of in the middle...

Choice number 2 gets my vote.
 
Ah, but what can this be atrributed to?

1. Better safety during tornado season? ie, faster warnings, more people being aware of the weather?

OR:

2. Tornado season sucked this year :)

I'm kind of in the middle...

I'm going with number 2, too! Most of the big events happened in relatively unpopulated areas. That will always help that stat when there is simply no one around for these things to kill.
 
I'm gonna go with number 2. Oh, and remember folks: 1987 sucked pretty bad, and the next year was the year of the Death Ridge.

I can only hope that 2006 isn't going to suck.
 
The year is far from over, and fall can bring outbreaks of the worst kind: Supercells imbedded in a massive squall line that moves 60mph and produces Large rainwrapped tornadoes.
 
Ah, but what can this be atrributed to?

1. Better safety during tornado season? ie, faster warnings, more people being aware of the weather?

OR:

2. Tornado season sucked this year :)

I'm kind of in the middle...

I'm going with number 2, too! Most of the big events happened in relatively unpopulated areas. That will always help that stat when there is simply no one around for these things to kill.

Agreed. Here are some stats:

May 2004 - 509 tornadoes, 7 deaths.
May 2003. 543 tornadoes, 41 deaths.
April-June 2005 - 565 tornadoes (prelim), 0 deaths.

2003's tornadoes mainly occured near the Mississippi River Valley, and b/c the population density is higher in that area, look at the increase of deaths. But the population density is lower in the Great Plains, and that is where most naders occurred last year, in the open country (less deaths).

But compare that to this year. It has been quiet for tornadoes, but most tornadoes (during April-June) have been occurring in open country. Different story in January-March though. 5 deaths during that period, even though only 96 tornadoes, and these deaths were in, again, more densely populated areas than the Plains.

So, though the lack of tornadoes is partly responsible, it's mostly location. And some of the tornadoes this year have been powerful, but they didn't hit anything, so only F2 or lower on the F-scale.

Here are some dates that could've been a lot worse had the tornadoes that occurred that day occurred in more populated areas:

April 10
April 21
May 12
June 4
June 5
June 9
June 12
June 27

And there could be more. Move any one of those prolific supercells that occurred on any one of those days to a population center, and that record wouldn't exist right now.

Let's hope this isn't a bad omen for things to come. Tornado season isn't completely over! In fact, it really never is.

Examples: second half of 2004 and 2002 had many tornadoes and tornado deaths. 2003 - second half only 3 deaths! Climatology almost always catches up.

And number of tornadoes doesn't always correlate with number of deaths. 2002 wasn't the most active year for tornadoes (as we all know), but 55 people were killed (more than 2003 and 2004).
 
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