Will this be the first 2,000-tornado year?

April 18, 2005, Roanoke.com

By Kevin Myatt

The final count is in for tornadoes in 2004, and it is astounding. According to the Storm Prediction Center's final tally, there were 1,947 tornadoes nationwide in 2004. This was more than 500 above 1998's record.

The unofficial total at the end of the 2004 was 1,722. It is often the case that this number dwindles when it is recounted, as some apparently multiple reports of tornadoes turn out to be redundant accounts of the same ones. This final tally, however, increased. A closer study showed that there were even more tornadoes than initially thought.

That's a pretty decent article. I like how it mentioned that the primary reason for such a record number of tornadoes can be attributed to the remarkable number of tornadoes related to tropical cyclones... I did noticed, however, that on the SPC reports page -- http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/torn/monthly...ytornstats.html -- the column that previously was titled "Total" is now (for 2004 and 2005) titled "Seg.". I wonder if this represents segments, as in a similar count to the way NCDC Storm Data reports are logged (by counties affected.. e.g. a single tornado track through 5 counties get 5 different entries in Storm Data).
tornado numbers

Here is a point that I have noticed in recent years, referring to Kevin Myatt's record tornado year article in the Roanoke Times: I live in the local area in Virginia where Kevin's articles originate (and he is my chase 'pardner so I am biased that his articles are pretty well-written), and the television news/weather coverage during the tropical system events was continuous as the rain bands moved through...

With the extensive live coverage, I tend to also believe more people are apt to grab a camera and scan the local skies when the TV meteorologists indicate a potentially tornadic storm is in the neighborhood, especially when they are broadcasting zoomed-in radar imagery. Perhaps more reports are coming in during these tropical systems than in previous times. It's a timing thing with these short-lived spin-ups, and maybe more eyes are trained on the sky now.

Tropical Cyclones definately added to the count this year, which I'm sure is a very strong reason behind the season being such a record year... to answer the 2000 tornado question; I would say with help from the tropics, it could be done, cause I'm pretty sure we won't see numbers like that on the Plains.