According to data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, during March, there were 191 preliminary tornado reports. This is more than double the 1991-2010 average of 80 tornadoes for the month of March. More than half of the March tornadoes occurred during four days in the middle and end of the month. These days of highest tornado frequency are summarized.
On March 13, there were 27 tornadoes that were clustered in the Texas Panhandle. All of these were EF-2, EF-1 or EF-0 torandoes that caused damage to homes, businesses and vehicles. There were no tornado-related fatalities.
On March 17, there were 56 tornadoes that impacted several states including Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas and Missouri. The majority of these tornadoes were EF-1 or EF-0 with several EF-2 tornadoes in Mississippi and Alabama. These tornadoes caused widespread damage to homes, businesses and vehicles. There were no tornado-related fatalities.
On March 25, there were 41 tornadoes that impacted several states including Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. These included one EF-4, four EF-3s, ten EF-2s and approximately two-dozen EF-1 or EF-0 tornadoes. The strongest of these tornadoes were focused across central Alabama and western Georgia with tracks across the entire width of Alabama. There was widespread damage to homes, businesses, vehicles and infrastructure. There were also 5 fatalities in Alabama.
On March 27, there were 26 tornadoes that impacted several states including Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Illinois. Six of these tornadoes were EF-2, but the majority were weaker EF-1 or EF-0 tornadoes. These tornadoes produced damage to a number of homes, businesses and vehicles. There were two fatalities.
Did You Know?
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:
- Edwards, R., H. E. Brooks, and H. Cohn, 2021: Changes in tornado climatology accompanying the Enhanced Fujita scale. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 60, 1465-1482, DOI: 10.1175/JAMC-D-21-0058.1.
- Mccarthy, Daniel & Schaefer, Joseph. (2004). Tornado trends over the past thirty years. paper presented at 14th Conference on Applied Meteorology.