The two EF-5 tornadoes in Moore and El Reno, Oklahoma in recent weeks have definitely put severe weather in the headlines. Yet, even with those two tragic events, the overall tornado count for the year is actually below average. Through June 9, the preliminary tornado count in the country stood at 518, far below the average count of 930 tornadoes through that date. The average is based on the years 2005 through 2012.
The preliminary count of 518 is the fewest tornadoes observed since 2005, even lower then last year when a drought impacted most of the plains and with limited thunderstorm activity, there were in turn fewer tornadoes reported. These past two years with fewer than average tornadoes comes after some very active tornado seasons. Both 2008 and 2011 recorded around 1500 tornadoes through early June, with 2008 ending up with over 2000 tornadoes reported for that entire year.