Tornadoes of 2014 (Invited Presentation)

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 5:15 PM
229AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Russell S. Schneider, NOAA/NWS/SPC, Norman, OK; and G. W. Carbin

This presentation will look at the 2014 tornado and severe thunderstorm season across the United States, including trends, and a look closely at several significant tornado outbreak days. Through October, the 2014 tornado count is near a record low. Severe hail and wind reports are also below normal thus far during 2014. The past year was also one of the ten lowest years for EF-1 or stronger tornadoes from January through May, with a total of 152. The lowest year was 1987 at 97 events and the highest year was 2011 at 741 events. Despite the below normal tornado count during 2014, there have been 45 fatalities attributed directly to tornadoes.

The 2014 tornado season began slowly, with a relatively quiet January and early February, with a major severe weather system effecting the central United States on 20 February producing approximately 500 severe weather reports. Even with this strong system, there was a 159 day break between EF-3 tornadoes, stretching from November 17, 2013 through April 25th, 2014. The largest tornado outbreaks during 2014 (January to October), were centered over Arkansas and Mississippi on 27 and 28 April and claimed 36 lives, including 16 with the Mayflower, Arkansas tornado. Overall, there were no EF-5 tornadoes in 2014, but there have been seven EF-4 events, including four in Nebraska on June 16th associated with complex storm structures, multiple tornadoes on the ground simultaneously, and the loss of two lives.