January: Was it a significant month for tornadoes?

1,187: The magic number as of June 22, 2017. What does this number represent? It represents the number of tornadoes that has occurred this year. All year, we have remained above the average tornado count (which is currently at 1,077).



January was a very active month, and a notable one at that. There were only 4 other years since 1950 that there were more than 50 tornadoes in the month of January, which were 1999, 2008, 2012 and 2014. Although the tornado count is preliminary, we can say for certain that 2017 holds its place as the second highest tornado count in the month of January.



The outbreak between the 21st and 23rd in the south contributed to more than half of the month’s count (which is 134). There were 23 EF-0, 44 EF-1, 11 EF-2, and 3 EF-3 tornadoes, totaling to 81 tornadoes. A high risk was issued in southern Georgia and Florida on January 22 (which was the first high risk issued since June 3, 2014), in which a long-tracked EF-3 tornado went through Albany, GA.


Each month thereafter has a preliminary tornado count of at least 115. One interesting fact while searching for information was that March 6, 2017, there were 647 storm reports (79 tornado, 451 wind, and 117 hail), which is a lot for that time of year.


Sources: SPC, NCDC