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2008 had second highest number of tornadoes on record

Sunday, January 4th, 2009 5:23am MST
2008 will go down as the second most active year for tornadoes on record.

2008 will go down as the second most active year for tornadoes on record.

According to the latest data from the Storm Prediction Center, the number of confirmed tornadoes in 2008 will finish well above average.  Final numbers through the end of October count 1,621 twisters, exceeding the average over the last ten years of 1,270 per year. 

Once the data is finalized, the year will most likely go down as the second most active tornado year on record since record keeping began in 1950.  2004 was the most active year with 1,871 and the number three year was 1998 with 1,424. 

While some alarmists may look to climate change as a reason for what seems to be an increase in the number of twisters, the explanation is actually much simpler than that.  Technology like radar now allows us to ‘see’ tornadoes in rural areas that normally would have gone unreported.  Further, as population grows, there are simply more people living in areas that were unpopulated before and thus twisters are spotted more often. 

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What about Colorado?  Certainly we all remember the Windsor tornado in May.  Beyond that, there were a total of 61 tornado reports in 2008.  The actual number of twisters will certainly be lower than that once duplicate reports are removed and the tally is official.

TORNADO TOTALS AND RELATED DEATHS...THROUGH 12/31/2008
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0726 AM CST THU JAN 01 2009

    ...NUMBER OF TORNADOES...            NUMBER OF        KILLER
                                       TORNADO DEATHS    TORNADOES
     ..2008..  ..2007.. 2006 2005  3YR            3YR            3YR
    PREL  ACT PREL  ACT  FIN  FIN   AV 08 07 06 05 AV 08 07 06 05 AV
JAN  136   84   29   21   47   33   34  7  2  1  4  2  4  1  1  2  1
FEB  230  148   87   52   12   10   25 59 22  0  0  7 12  3  0  0  1
MAR  150  126  214  171  150   62  128  4 27 11  1 13  3 10  7  1  6
APR  189  189  187  165  245  132  181  0  9 38  0 16  0  3  9  0  4
MAY  597  460  282  250  139  123  171 43 14  3  0  6 10  4  1  0  2
JUN  394  289  152  128  120  316  188  7  0  0  0  0  4  0  0  0  0
JUL  120   94   55   69   71  138   93  1  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0
AUG  145   99   87   73   80  123   92  0  1  1  4  2  0  1  1  3  2
SEP  133  111   63   51   84  133   89  2  0  1  1  1  1  0  1  1  1
OCT   28   21  115   87   76   18   60  0  5  0  0  2  0  3  0  1  1
NOV   20    -    7    7   42  150   66  2  0 10 28 13  2  0  3  5  3
DEC   50    -   22   19   40   26   33  0  1  2  0  1  0  1  2  0  1
    ----  --- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- --- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
SUM 2192 1621 1300 1093 1106 1264 1159 125 81 67 38 62 37 26 25 13 21

PREL = 2009 PRELIMINARY COUNT FROM NWS LOCAL STORM REPORTS.
ACT = ACTUAL COUNT BASED ON NWS STORM DATA SUBMISSIONS.

TORNADO-RELATED FATALITY NUMBERS ARE ENTERED WHEN CONFIRMED BY NWS
FORECAST OFFICES.

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