Tornadoes - April 2017

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.

This analysis is based on preliminary data available from the Storm Prediction Center. Final tornado counts published by the Storm Prediction Center and NCEI's Storm Events Database might differ from this report. For a more detailed climatology, please visit our tornado climatology page.

According to data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center,during April, there were 211 preliminary tornado reports. This is more than the 1991-2010 average of 155 for the month. This is the most tornadoes to impact the U.S. during April since the hyperactive April of 2011 when there were over 750 confirmed tornadoes. Once the final tornado count is confirmed, the April 2017 count will likely rank among the top 10 in the 1950-present period of record. The first week and the last week were the most active of the month with eight tornado-related fatalities reported.

For January-April, there were 636 preliminary tornado reports, more than double the 1991-2010 January-April average of 299 and the most active year-to-date since 2011. Depending on the final confirmed tornado count, the January-April period of 2017 will be among the five most active year-to-date periods on record.

On April 2nd and 3rd a low pressure system and associated cold front moved across the Southern Plains, Gulf Coast states, and into the Southeast. Over the two-day period there were 65 preliminary tornado reports from Texas to South Carolina. On the 2nd, an EF-1 tornado hit a mobile home in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana killing two people. As the storm system moved to the east an EF-1 killed one person in Union County, South Carolina.

On the last two days of April, the same storm system that brought snow to the High Plains and Upper Midwest spawned severe weather across the Great Plains and Gulf Coast. Over the two-date period there were 59 preliminary tornado reports. In Van Zandt County, Texas two separate tornadoes, an EF-4 and an EF-3, resulted in four fatalities. On the 30th, an EF-2 hit Holmes County, Mississippi killing on person.

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Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Tornadoes for April 2017, published online May 2017, retrieved on May 30, 2017 from