National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Where are the Tornadoes?


Despite one of the most active starts to tornado season nationwide since 1954, Kansas is experiencing not only a rainfall drought, but a tornado drought as well.  Only eight tornadoes have been reported across Kansas thus far in 2011: two in February and six in April.  The majority of 2011 tornadoes across the Nation occurred during the month of April, and especially the last week of April across the southern and southeast USA; click HERE for a detailed graph courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). 

May into June is climatologically the most active period tornado-wise across the central and southern plains. However, so far there has been ZERO tornadoes reported this May in Kansas with this streak likely to continue through at least May 17th.  The last time this happened was 1984.  Since 1980, May 1st-17th typically boasts about 15 tornadoes across Kansas.  Also since 1980, there has never been a May in Kansas that has been completely tornado-free, although 1994 and 1984 were close with only 2 reported each May.  Since 1980, the month of May typically boasts about 30 tornadoes across the state. 

The number of twisters reported across Kansas since 1950 (over 3,500) surpasses all other states except Texas (nearly 7,800). 

Below are some graphs comparing Kansas tornado counts since 1980.