Tornadoes - April 2012
NCDC will transition to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This is coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.
Updated: 8 May 2012
The values in this report are preliminary, and the final counts and results will change as tornado events are investigated and confirmed. This month’s report will not be updated with final statistics. For final information please visit the following sites:
- The NCDC Storm Events Database
- NOAA's Storm Prediction Center’s Data Page
- NOAA's Storm Prediction Center’s Preliminary Report Page
According to data from the Storm Prediction Center, the count of preliminary tornado reports during April — 228 — was above the 1991-2010 average of 155, but much less than the record breaking tornado month a year prior in April 2011. April tends to be one of the more active tornado months during the year, with annual tornado activity usually peaking in May.
On April 3rd, a series of supercell thunderstorms moved through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, spawning at least 17 tornadoes in the densely populated area. Most of the tornadoes were weak and rated EF0 and EF1, while three were rated EF2 and two were rated EF3. The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, one of the busiest in the nation, halted all flights and sheltered all passengers as a precaution due to the tornado warnings. The tornadoes caused significant damage across Dallas-Fort Worth, but they did miss the airport and there were no reported fatalities for the entire outbreak.
A large tornado outbreak impacted the Central Plains on April 14th, as a vigorous storm system swept through the region. There were 122 preliminary reports of tornadoes from Oklahoma to Iowa, with Kansas receiving the brunt of the action. Significant damage was reported as some of the tornadoes and severe thunderstorms were long-lived, producing long tracks of destruction. An EF-3 tornado, which moved through the town of Woodward, Oklahoma, struck during the overnight hours and led to six fatalities. This single outbreak accounted for most of the tornado reports during the month and the only reported tornado-related fatalities for April.