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 October, there were 65 preliminary tornado reports. This is slightly more than the 1991-2010 average of 61 tornadoes for the month of October. The most active days of the month were October 18-20, in which 42 tornadoes were reported. The vast majority of these tornadoes (33) occurred on October 20, as tornadoes were reported across Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. In particular, at least 9 tornadoes caused widespread damage across northern Dallas damaging thousands of homes, vehicles, businesses and other infrastructure such as schools. Tornadoes up to EF-3 intensity with maximum winds of 140 mph tracked across a large section of highly developed northern Dallas, and damage costs are in excess of $1 billion. Incredibly, there were no fatalities given that numerous tornadoes impacted a densely populated area.

On October 18-19, Post-Tropical Cyclone Nestor created favorable conditions for at least 9 tornadoes that impacted the west-central and east-central coasts of Florida, central Georgia and the northeast coast of South Carolina. Among these included an EF-2 tornado that tracked for miles through Polk County, Florida causing damage but no fatalities.

Another notable day of tornadoes occurred on October 31, in which eight tornadoes were reported across several Eastern states including Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey. There were no fatalities associated with these tornadoes.

Did You Know?

Tornado Count

Final monthly tornado counts are typically less than the preliminary count. This can be due to some phenomena being inaccurately reported as tornadic activity or a single tornado being reported multiple times. Tornado accounts are reported to the local National Weather Service forecast offices who are responsible for going into the field and verifying each tornado reported. This process often takes several months to complete. Once all reports have been investigated, the final count is published by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC).

The Tornado Monthly Climate Reports are written using the preliminary numbers because the final data is not available at the time of production. Historically, for every 100 preliminary tornado reports, at least 65 tornadoes are confirmed. An error bar is depicted on the tornado count graphic representing this uncertainty in the preliminary tornado count.

The following U.S. studies performed by SPC meteorologists offer deeper context and discussion regarding the frequency and distribution of tornado intensity climatologies:

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Monthly Tornadoes Report for October 2019, published online November 2019, retrieved on December 7, 2022 from