According to data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, during 2022, there were 1,329 preliminary tornado reports. This was above the 1991-2010 U.S. annual average of 1,251 tornadoes. The most prolific months during 2022 for tornadoes were March, April, May, June and November, as each of these months reported 100 or more tornadoes. Specific event days that had the highest tornado frequency and impacts are summarized below.
On March 5-6, there were 55 tornadoes that were clustered across Iowa, Illinois and Arkansas. This included a confirmed EF4 tornado in Winterset, Iowa that caused six fatalities and injured five. This tornado carved a nearly 70 mile path through Madison, Warren, Polk, and Jasper Counties. There was also one EF3 and five EF2 tornadoes during this outbreak, in addition to nearly two dozen combined EF1 and EF0 tornadoes. There were no additional fatalities from these tornadoes.
On March 21-22, there were 108 tornadoes that impacted several states most focused across Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Alabama. This large outbreak of tornadoes included an EF3 tornado that caused significant damage to homes, business, schools and infrastructure in Jacksboro, Texas. Other tornadoes caused damage near College Station, and near the Austin and Houston metro regions. On March 22, as the system moved east there was another EF3 tornado that caused damage across the Arabi community of the New Orleans metro region, east of the Lower Ninth Ward. This tornado caused damage to homes, businesses, vehicles and infrastructure. As a high-end EF3 tornado with 160 mph winds, this tornado was the strongest on record to hit the New Orleans metropolitan area. This multi-day outbreak of tornadoes caused two fatalities and several injuries.
On March 30, there was another outbreak of 83 tornadoes focused across the Gulf Coast states including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. This outbreak consisted of three EF3, nine EF2 and more than 75 EF1 and EF0 tornadoes. Washington County, Arkansas experienced one of the EF3 tornadoes that damaged an elementary school, homes, businesses and buildings at the Springdale Municipal Airport. Another EF3 tornado impacted Washington County, Florida with winds of 150 mph. It caused heavy damage to homes, vehicles and infrastructure. The tornado also caused two fatalities and several injuries near Alford, Florida.
There was a significant tornado outbreak during April 4, 5 and 6 where a combined 100 preliminary tornadoes were reported. The tornadoes occurred across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. Many of these tornadoes were clustered along the southern portions of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. During this three-day period many of these tornadoes were rated as either EF1 or EF0, but there were also nine EF2, three EF3 and one EF4 tornado. This EF4 occurred in Pembroke, Georgia on April 5th with winds of 185 mph that destroyed several neighborhoods. Many of the other tornadoes across the South caused considerable damage to homes, businesses, vehicles, and other infrastructure. There was also one reported fatality associated with the EF4 tornado in Georgia and twelve injuries.
A second notable tornado outbreak during April occurred on April 11, 12 and 13 and produced a combined 70 preliminary tornadoes. These tornadoes occurred across Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. On April 11 the tornadoes were clustered across central Arkansas producing damage to homes, vehicles, outbuildings and farms and vegetation. On April 12 the most impactful tornadoes developed in Iowa and Texas. Nearly two dozen injuries resulted from a high-end EF3 tornado with a peak wind speed of 165 mph and a peak width of 770 yards that tracked through Williamson and Bell counties in Texas. During this three-day period many of these tornadoes were rated as either EF1 or EF0, but there were also five EF2 and one EF3. April 13 was the most prolific day with 40 reported tornadoes focused across central Mississippi and west-central Kentucky. These tornadoes produced damage to homes, businesses, farms, outbuildings and other infrastructure. There were several injuries reported but no fatalities.
A combined 32 preliminary tornadoes were reported on May 4, 5 and 6. These tornadoes were scattered across Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. During this three-day period many of these tornadoes were rated as either EF1 or EF0, but there were also four EF2 tornadoes, and one EF3 tornado. The EF3 occurred near Lockette, Texas on May 4 causing damage to homes, businesses, vehicles and other infrastructure. There were several injuries reported but no fatalities.
The most prolific tornado outbreak of the month was on May 11 and 12 that produced a combined 40 preliminary tornadoes. These tornadoes occurred across eastern South Dakota and southern Minnesota. During this two-day period many of these tornadoes were rated as either EF1 or EF0, but there were also five EF2 tornadoes. These tornadoes produced damage to numerous homes, businesses, farms, outbuildings and other infrastructure. There were several injuries reported but no fatalities.
Another day with a higher concentration of tornadoes was May 30, as 27 tornadoes impacted eastern South Dakota and west-central Minnesota. During this day many of these tornadoes were rated as either EF1 or EF0, but there were also four EF2 tornadoes and one EF3 tornado. The EF3 tornado occurred near Altamont, South Dakota causing heavy damage to farms, outbuildings and transmission towers. Several other EF2 tornadoes produced scattered damage across western Minnesota. This damage was more severe in Nelson and Deer River, Minnesota where homes, businesses and a baseball field were damaged. There were no reported injuries or fatalities.
The first notable tornado days for the month of June were June 7 and 8, as a combined 32 preliminary tornadoes were reported. These tornadoes were scattered across eastern Colorado, southern Nebraska, eastern Kansas and western Missouri on June 7 and impacted central Indiana and southern Ohio on June 8. During this two-day period most of these tornadoes were rated as either EF1 or EF0, but there were also three EF2 tornadoes. One of the EF2 tornadoes occurred near Tipp City and South Bloomingville, Ohio, caused damage to homes, vehicles and businesses including a large distribution warehouse and other infrastructure. There were no fatalities.
The next notable tornado day occurred on June 15 where one dozen tornadoes tracked through southern and eastern Wisconsin. On this day, there were nine EF1 and three EF2 tornadoes that caused damage to homes, vehicles, farms, outbuildings and vegetation. One of the EF2 tornadoes passed near Wyeville and Oakdale uprooting thousands of trees in Monroe and Juneau counties and ripped through Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin. There were no fatalities.
June 23 and 24 was another two-day period that produced a combined 15 tornadoes that impacted central Kansas, eastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota. Most of these tornadoes were EF0 tornadoes across Kansas that quickly dissipated causing little damage across rural areas. On June 24 there was one EF1 tornado in Mahnomen County, Minnesota and an EF2 tornado in Becker and Wadena counties of Minnesota. Each of these tornadoes caused scattered damage to homes, vehicles, farms, vegetation and transmission lines. There were no reported injuries or fatalities.
On November 4, there were 62 preliminary tornadoes reported across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The tornadoes that have been surveyed and confirmed so far include: four EF0, fifteen EF1, seven EF2, two EF3 and two EF4 tornadoes. One of the EF3 tornadoes produced damage near Daingerfield, Texas including eight injuries and one fatality. An EF2 tornado near Pickens, Oklahoma caused one injury and one fatality while an EF4 tornado near Clarksville, Texas resulted in 13 injuries. Many of these tornadoes caused considerable damage to homes, businesses, vehicles, farms, vegetation and other infrastructure. In total, there were two fatalities and more than two dozen injuries reported across Texas and Oklahoma on November 4.
On November 29, there were 45 preliminary tornadoes clustered across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The tornadoes that have been confirmed to date include seven EF0, nine EF1, five EF2 and two EF3 tornadoes. One of the EF3 tornadoes touched down in Greene County, Mississippi and continued to move into Washington County, Alabama impacting Fruitdale. This tornado caused significant damage to a local high school, numerous residences, vehicles and other infrastructure. There were also two EF2 tornadoes confirmed in Elmore and Montgomery counties in Alabama, which produced scattered damage to residences, vehicles and vegetation. There were two fatalities and at least three injuries reported across Alabama.
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
- Mccarthy, Daniel & Schaefer, Joseph. (2004). Tornado trends over the past thirty years. paper presented at 14th Conference on Applied Meteorology.