Follow up to “Quiet start to 2018”

You’ll recall last week I wrote that 2018 has been tornado-free thus far here in Kansas. According to data from the National Weather Service (thanks Chance Hayes/Robb Lawson!) and the Tornado History Project website, only 3 years since 1950 have been tornado-free during the first 4 months: 1962, 1967 and 1980.

We’re just 9 days away from adding 2018 to that list.

Here are some other interesting stats I uncovered about those 3 particular years.

In 1962, Kansas’ first tornado didn’t occur until May 16. Cheyenne County in the northwest corner got the nod for that. Despite the late start, the state ended up with 61 tornadoes. That’s quite a few given the state of the science at that point. Generally, the number of reported tornadoes has increased since the late 1980s/early 1990s, thanks to better awareness and education about tornadoes, more spotters and chasers in the field and the roll out of the nation’s Doppler radar network.

In 1967, the state’s first twister wasn’t reported until May 26, in Phillips County (northern Kansas). Only 26 tornadoes were logged that year.

1980 is remembered for record heat in Kansas but it also didn’t record a tornado until May 28 (in Meade and Gray County in the southwest). Not surprisingly, just 19 tornadoes touched down.

Like the stock market, past performance does not guarantee future results. It will be interesting to see how our tornado season unfolds from here on out. Stay tuned!

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