(NEWSnet) – The 2024 tornado season is proving to be one of the busiest in decades, as seen in National Weather Service historical data.

Although only the more severe weather outbreaks or damage incidents tend to make national headlines, the trend was also clear by early May when tornado reports kept showing up day after day in the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center database.

News reports during the past few months include local and regional tornado records broken, three tornadoes across the country issued an unusually high EF4 damage rating, and over three dozen fatalities.

That’s not including any hail and wind damage reports, which the NWS also tracks.

One of the hailstorms, which happened May 28 in Texas, included a forecast for 5-inch (DVD-sized) hail, "the first warning for hail that large on record," according to a NOAA press release

Keeping in mind that modern record-keeping about tornadoes started in 1950, and some forecast-specific statistics started in later years, the Storm Prediction Center reviewed this year's reports from NWS bureaus across the country and shared the following:

  • 6,284 total severe weather reports in May 2024. This is the second highest number for May in the past 20 years.
  • 476 tornadoes reported in May 2024. This is the most since 2019; and the fourth highest since 1950.
  • Over 930 tornadoes reported from January through May 2024. This is the fourth most active start to a year since 1950; and is well above average for the past 25 years.
  • 196 tornado watches issued in May 2024, the eighth highest for May since 1970.


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