Minnesota retains tornado lead: Tornado warnings in New York

Minnesota is often rated #1 by so many measures. Here’s a stat we probably would just as soon let go to some other state.

Minnesota retains the lead in preliminary tornado reports so far in 2010. Despite tornado warnings, there were no reports of any tornadoes in Minnesota Wednesday. The preliminary tornado tally for Minnesota in 2010 remains at 145.

Severe weather in Texas and Kansas this week has boosted tornado totals there. Here are the latest (still preliminary) SPC numbers.

Minnesota 145

Texas 96

Kansas 92

Oklahoma 73

North Dakota 68

Colorado 66

Wisconsin 61

Iowa 52

That means 4 of the top 8 tornado producing states this year are “polka states” in the Upper Midwest.


Signs of a trend?

As you can see Minnesota’s tornado numbers are roughly DOUBLE Oklahoma’s this year. Is this just a fluke, or a trend?

It is interesting to compare tornado numbers from each decade going back to the 1950s for Minnesota and Oklahoma.

Decade: Oklahoma/Minnesota/Difference

1950s 579 98 +481

1960s 615 223 +392

1970s 476 193 +283

1980s 522 229 +293

1990s 723 362 +361

2000s 529 463 +66

2010 73 145 -72 (this year only)

As you can see Minnesota closed the “tornado gap” significantly in the past decade when compared with Oklahoma in the heart of tornado alley.

New York City tornado?

Tornado warnings are flying for parts of New York City this afternoon.

Doppler is indicating rotating thunderstorms within a squall line of severe storms rolling through the NYC area. It is a common myth that tornadoes cannot occur in urban areas. Let’s hope NYC escapes without any significant damage or tornado touchdowns.

1 NYC tornaodes.PNG

1 a a a central park.jpg


  • Susan

    The number of tornadoes per state is interesting information. States vary in geographical size, and Texas is a very large state. It would be interesting to see the frequency of tornadoes per square mile (or other size measure) by state. I would guess that your data would show even more difference between Minnesota and Texas (and other states).