US Tornado Fatality Trends (1950-2016 & 1990-2016) (1 Viewer)


PerryW

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A couple of maps I created using official SPC Tornado Death statistics. The first map is the total number of tornado deaths by state from 1950 thru 2016 (a 67 year period of record). In 1950, technology for detecting tornadoes and warning the public was primitive when compared to today.

For example, the NOAA Weather Radio network didn't become operational until the mid-1970's. Many tornado-prone areas were not covered by weather radars until the late 1960's, and the Skywarn storm spotting network was not organized until 1971. Before 1980, many tornadoes struck without warning, especially those occurring at night.




The second map is the total number of tornado deaths by state just since 1990. A tremendous increase in tornado forecasting capability (improved model guidance), tornado detection (Nexrad doppler radar network, etc), warning capabilities, and communications took place during this 27 year period.

Sadly, the number of tornado fatalities is still far too high, especially in Dixie Alley states such as Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee where a growing population (many residents living in mobile homes, weak frame homes, etc) combined with frequency of nighttime intense tornadoes, tornadoes hidden by precip, low cloud bases, terrain, etc. makes strong and violent tornadoes extremely dangerous, especially in highly populated cities and metro areas (i.e - Tuscaloosa to Birmingham's (AL) western suburbs and and Joplin, MO both in 2011).

 
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PerryW

Member
Honorary Meteorologist
Messages
144
Location
Wilsonville, Oregon
Special Affiliations
SKYWARN® Volunteer
Interesting as well. Alabama seems to be the hot spot.
Yes......even minus the 238 fatalities that occurred on April 27, 2011 the state of Alabama would still rank 4th on the 1950-2016 list......only behind Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
 

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