Visit:NCEI U.S. Tornadoes
According to data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, during April, there were 121 preliminary tornado reports. This was below the 1991-2010 average of 155 tornadoes for the month of April. The following paragraphs summarize four notable tornado events through the month.
The first significant tornado outbreak was April 1, as 13 preliminary tornadoes impacted portions of New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The strongest of the tornadoes was an EF-3, with estimated peak wind speeds of up to 140 mph, that traveled over 14 miles across Sussex County, Delaware. It was roughly 0.4 miles wide at its largest, making it the state's widest tornado since 1950, according to the Philadelphia/Mt. Holly National Weather Service office. A few homes were swept off their foundations and collapsed, while multiple other houses and buildings such as garages and barns were damaged, some substantially. The tornado also caused significant tree damage and downed power poles including a couple of steel high-tension poles. There was one fatality, Delaware's third tornado-related death since 1950. There were also seven tornadoes (i.e., three EF-2s and four EF-1s) that touched down in New Jersey, making it one of the state’s largest tornado outbreaks since 1950. It was also likely the greatest number of tornadoes in a single day since 1950 for both Burlington and Monmouth counties in New Jersey, with an EF-2 tornado in Monmouth County among the county’s strongest tornadoes on record. Pennsylvania and Maryland each saw an EF-1 tornado. There was one reported fatality associated with the EF-3 tornado in Delaware and an unknown number of injuries.
On April 4-5, there were 35 preliminary tornadoes that impacted several central states including Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa and Arkansas. These tornadoes included several (two EF-2s, 22 EF-1s and 9 EF-0s) that caused considerable damage to homes, businesses, vehicles and other infrastructure. There were five reported fatalities and at least eight injuries.
A tornado outbreak occurred on April 19 across areas of the southern and central Plains. In total, there were 19 preliminary tornadoes that impacted central Oklahoma, eastern Kansas and western Iowa. These tornadoes included two rated as EF-3s in Oklahoma that caused heavy damage to many homes, businesses, vehicles and other infrastructure. There was at least one reported injury and one fatality.
On April 30, a state of emergency was declared after a rare EF-3 tornado touched down in Virginia Beach, Virginia destroying more than 100 structures. There were several injuries reported but no 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
- Mccarthy, Daniel & Schaefer, Joseph. (2004). Tornado trends over the past thirty years. paper presented at 14th Conference on Applied Meteorology.