U.S. 2014 tornado count is significantly below the average! Average yearly amount is 257 and so far the count is up to 152.
Looking below at the next diagram you can see how much this year sticks out when compared to previous years. Tornado reports and deaths are much lower! 2011 also sticks out but not in a good way as we all remember.
The chart below shows just the Alabama tornado frequency per year and it is definitely an eye catcher too! One thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is the fact that the frequency for tornadoes has been on the increase over the past 60+ years. Is this due to climate change? Or advanced technology? Or more chasers and spotters? Or all of the above? I would tend to lean towards all of the above.
Tornado count through May of this year is above last year with a total of 39. More than half of those occurred in Central Alabama.
So while the most "active" part of the year is past us, we still need to be ready for a potential fall and early winter severe weather season. The jet stream which has been hanging out in Canada moves southward during the cool months and is one of the main ingredients for severe weather. You need wind energy for tornadoes which is usually never around during the summertime which is why the monthly averages are typically lower.
So as we continue through the month of August, now is the time to make sure you are prepared for stronger storms this upcoming fall.
Jill Gilardi Fox 6 Meteorologist