Tornadoes - December 2012
NCEI added Alaska climate divisions to its nClimDiv dataset on Friday, March 6, 2015, coincident with the release of the February 2015 monthly monitoring report. For more information on this data, please visit the Alaska Climate Divisions FAQ.
According to data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, during December, there were 51 preliminary tornado reports. This is more than the 1991-2010 average of 24 for the month, and once the final tornado count is determined will likely rank among the ten most active Decembers in the 1950-present record. This ends a seven month stretch of below-average tornado activity for the nation. Nearly all of the tornadoes during the month occurred across the Gulf Coast states and the Southeast. There were no reported tornado-related fatalities during December. The last tornado-related fatality in the U.S. occurred on June 24th and December 31st was the 190th consecutive day without a tornado-related fatality. According to analysis by the Storm Prediction Center, the longest consecutive day stretch with no tornado fatalities in the 1950-present official record was 197 days between October 15th, 1986 and February 28th, 1987. Longer periods without tornado fatalities have occurred prior to 1950, but inconsistent observing practices make comparisons to current data difficult.
25 December Tornadoes
On Christmas Day, a strong storm system moved through the center of the country, bringing heavy snow from the Southern Plains into the Northeast and tornadoes and severe weather to the Gulf Coast and Southeast. There were 28 confirmed tornadoes on December 25th from Texas to Alabama and one confirmed tornado in North Carolina on the 26th. The 28 tornadoes on the 25th marked the largest Christmas Day outbreak in the 1950-present record and the fourth most active December tornado day. An EF-3 tornado tracked over 60 miles through southern Mississippi destroying 22 homes and injuring eight people. A second, short-lived EF-3 tornado was confirmed in Pennington, Texas. There were no tornado-related fatalities during the outbreak, although there were four fatalities blamed on other impacts from the severe weather.