Worst Tornado in Missouri: Historical Impact and Stats

May 22, 2024

Tornadoes are a significant natural hazard in Missouri, holding a notable place in U.S. weather history due to their frequency and impact.

Historical Context

Missouri has been the site of 5 of the 25 deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history. Remarkably, three of these tornadoes rank among the top 10 deadliest, showcasing the severity and frequency of these extreme weather events in the region.

Peak Tornado Periods

High-Risk Months

The prime months for tornado occurrences in Missouri are from April through June. During these months, the state sees the highest concentration of tornado activity.

"Joplin, Missouri, USA, tornado devastation May 2011" by J. Tewell is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/.

Secondary Peaks

Missouri also experiences a secondary peak in tornado occurrences towards the end of the year, although this period sees fewer tornadoes compared to the spring and early summer months.

Annual Averages

On average, Missouri experiences 32 tornadoes each year. Additionally, the state records an average of 4 fatalities annually due to these destructive storms.

"2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado damage" by KOMUnews is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Fatality Statistics

From 1950 to 2016, tornadoes in Missouri have resulted in a total of 394 fatalities. This statistic underscores the significant threat tornadoes pose to life and property in the state.

Record Year for Tornadoes

The year 2006 stands out in Missouri's meteorological records, with a total of 102 tornadoes occurring within a single year. This was an unprecedented count and exemplifies the potential for extreme tornado activity in the state.

"Violent Tornado Rips Through Missouri’s Capital" by NOAASatellites is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0. To view the terms, visit https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/.

Additional Resources for Specific Regions

For readers seeking more localized information, there are additional resources available that focus on tornado climatology, maps, and graphs specific to the St. Louis region, including St. Charles County. These resources provide detailed insights into the patterns and impacts of tornadoes at a more granular level.

Overall, understanding Missouri's tornado statistics from 1950 to 2016 offers valuable insights into the frequency, impact, and historical significance of these powerful storms. This awareness is crucial for better preparedness and response strategies to mitigate the risks associated with tornadoes in Missouri.

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