The 2009 tornado count at the end of December was 1,156. June was the most active month of the year with 268 confirmed tornado reports. This ranks 2009 as the 9th quietest month since 1990 and the 5th quietest month this decade. The only months to experience more tornadoes than the past 3-year average was April, June, July, and December.

The highest concentrations of tornado reports were clustered in the Southeast and into the Midwest. The Plains States and “Tornado-Alley” had a relatively calm tornado year relative to their historical records. 2009 was the busiest year of the decade for Louisiana and Alabama in terms of the number of tornadoes, with 82 and 103 tornadoes, respectively. Conversely, Texas and Kansas had their second calmest year of the decade with 108 and 87, tornadoes respectively. According to the SPC, November 2009 had only 4 preliminary tornado reports marking the calmest November since 1980, and the 3rd quietest (tied: 1950,1962,1969) since extensive records began in 1950. November, in the past, has been a fairly active month for parts of the southeastern United States.

The number of fatalities this year is down compared to the last four years, with 22 reported deaths. The number of killer tornadoes was also down for the year with only 10 fatal tornadoes. The deadliest single tornado for the year occurred on February 10th when an EF4 tornado caused 8 fatalities near Lone Grove, Oklahoma. This was the first February EF4 tornado for Oklahoma and was the deadliest February tornado in the state’s history.

The largest outbreak for 2009 occurred on April 10th with 73 preliminary reports of tornadoes across the southeastern U.S., killing 2 people. Arkansas, Missourri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, and Georgia all experienced killer tornadoes during 2009.

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Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Tornadoes for Annual 2009, published online January 2010, retrieved on January 20, 2022 from