April Fools’ Day Tornadoes

From the looks of the most recent SPC outlook, there won’t be any tornadoes today – but don’t let that fool you into thinking tornadoes haven’t happened in the past. We certainly can’t say what tornadoes will happen in 2019 and beyond, but we can tell you that 120 tornadoes touched down across the country between 1950 and 2016 on April Fools’ Day.

This Funnel Feature is written to provide a brief overview of the tornadoes that touched down on April 1. Remember, you can always go to our website and look at the overarching view for each day. You can download individual PDF and CSV files containing the data for all the tornadoes between 1950 and 2016 that happened on that day (link for April 1st).

Let’s take a quick look at the tornadoes by scale:

We wrote a brief overview on the only F4 tornado that occurred on this day, which can be found here (link). It took place in Louisiana in 1983 and went through Ouachita and Morehouse Parishes. It had a path length of 9 miles with a max width of 1000 yards.

The most notable outbreak that happened on April Fools’ Day was the outbreak of 1974. There were 3 F3, 10 F2, 8 F1, and 1 F0 tornadoes. 19 of these touched down during the evening of April 1 and 3 lingered into the overnight hours (CST).  The next 2 days was the 1974 Super Outbreak, which brought a total of 148 tornadoes to 13 states. The National Weather Service has a PDF online outlining the entire event (link).


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