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, in April there were 341 preliminary tornado reports. This is more than double the 1991-2010 average of 155 tornadoes for April. The most notable event during the month was an outbreak of at least 140 tornadoes from Texas to Maryland during April 12-13. Based on preliminary NWS surveys and analysis, 140 tornadoes have been confirmed from Texas to Maryland including 3 EF4s, 12 EF3s, 20 EF2s, 77 EF1s and 28 EF0s. More than a million homes and businesses lost power. With 32 tornado-related fatalities reported, this was the deadliest tornado outbreak since April 27-30, 2014. Damage was extensive and highly destructive in some places, with total damage costs likely reaching several billion dollars. Other days of tornado activity include April 7-8 where a combined 34 tornadoes affected southern Ohio, Indiana and northern Kentucky. These tornadoes caused extensive damage but no deaths. Another day of tornado activity was April 19, as 28 tornadoes were scattered along the Gulf coast states from Texas to Florida. Southern Mississippi and Alabama experienced the majority of these tornadoes. There was scattered damage and one fatality. The final noted tornado event occurred during April 22 and 23, in which 47 and 27 tornadoes were reported, respectively. This event was a wider outbreak of tornadoes, as states impacted included Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. These tornadoes caused extensive damage and three deaths.

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 April 2020, published online May 2020, retrieved on June 15, 2024 from