Believe it or not, across the entirety of America…we actually are below average when it comes to tornado activity. One very notable area does stand out for having had a rather active year though: Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The bulk of tornado activity this year has been across the Southern Plains and into the Central Plains.
There is also a notable hotspot in Northern Illinois, mostly thanks to early April.
2015 has actually broken a record for the most tornadoes in the month of May in North and Central Texas. Look at this graph posted by Mark Fox on Twitter:
— Mark Fox (@FTWMet) October 28, 2015
The state of Oklahoma has recorded 97 official tornadoes through July (stats haven’t been updated for the months after then). This puts Oklahoma well above average as well, with the bulk of tornado activity occurring in May, where 82 tornadoes occurred.
In fact, Oklahoma fell just 9 tornadoes short of breaking 1999’s May record of 91.
Every county in our region was under a tornado watch at some point in 2015 (thus far) except for Cimarron County in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
But nationwide we’re actually trending well below normal. Check it out…
In fact, what’s rather striking about the map above is that we’ve largely been flat for the past few months — which is not at all surprising when you consider how stagnant our upper air pattern has been across much of the country since about Mid-July.
All in all, most of the tornado activity in the country has occurred in what is the ‘traditional’ tornado alley of the Central and Southern Plains. It has certainly felt like a busy season around here, and it has been.
However, for the rest of the country, especially the typically active southeast — it’s been a rather quiet season.