Tornado Count Up Over 800% for February Unprecedented Start to the Year
February 28, 2008
Normally we see about 1000 tornadoes a year. During 2007, 1,300 twisters ripped through the U.S. This barrage of unrelenting windstorms plagued the Midwest and rampaged eastward. Then something new happened: an unheard of twister barreled across Brooklyn, NY.
This year, in a single February night, 68 tornadoes roared through Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. At least 58 people died: 32 in Tennessee, 13 in Arkansas, 7 in Kentucky and 6 in Alabama. This tornado outbreak was the nation's worst in more than two decades when 76 people were killed in Pennsylvania and Ohio on May 31, 1985. May, not February. The death toll ranks among the top 15 from tornado outbreaks since 1950. Again, this is tornado off-season.
This very out-of-character wild weather has prompted scientists to ask if January is the new March.
January 2008 - when it's supposed to be snowing - an unbelievable 136 tornadoes wrecked terrible damage. January usually sees about 34 twisters.
So far, 232 have hit the U.S. this month which is 828% more than the ENTIRE month of February should see. February is typically the quietest month for tornado activity. You've got to admit something very different and very dangerous is going on here. At this vastly accelerated rate, well, who knows how rough this year will be...
That 368 tornadoes have hit in the first 8 weeks show 2008 is not off to a good start.
The bottom graph starkly illustrates 2008's sharp start to twister events.