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May-June 2018

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The 2017 Tornado Season: A Very Active Start and a Return to Normal Yearly Numbers

There were approximately 1,412 tornadoes in the United States in 2017, which is around 15% above the 25-year annual average. The above-average tornado counts of 2017 follow a five-year stretch from 2012 to 2016 of well-below-average yearly tornado totals. Much like 2016, the early part of 2017 was very busy with one of the highest January tornado counts on record. The active early part of the year was followed by a near-normal number of tornadoes from late spring onward, although it was a notable year for tropical-cyclone-related tornadoes during the summer and early fall.


JARED GUYER is a lead forecaster at the NOAA/National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma.

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