- The Science of Tornadoes
- The History of Tornadoes in Kansas
- The Forecast for Tornadoes in Kansas in 2021
This is a question that we get asked a lot here at the National Weather Service. And while we can’t give a definitive answer, we can provide some guidance.
Checkout this video:
Each year, an average of 55 tornadoes touch down in the state of Kansas. The majority of these storms occur between April and June, with May typically being the peak month. However, it’s important to remember that tornado season can last from March to July, so it’s never too early (or late) to start preparing.
While the average number of tornadoes in Kansas is relatively low compared to other states in “Tornado Alley,” the state has still seen its fair share of destructive storms. In 2007, for example, 108 tornadoes touched down across the state, causing nearly $1 billion in damage and killing 24 people. And just last year, a rare EF4 tornado ripped through the city of Linwood, causing more than $100 million in damage.
With that said, it’s impossible to predict exactly how many tornadoes will touch down in Kansas in any given year. However, based on historical data and current weather patterns, we can make a pretty good estimate. Here’s what we expect for 2021:
Based on historical data and current weather patterns, we expect there to be approximately 60 tornadoes in Kansas during 2021. This number could go up or down depending on factors like El Niño/La Niña conditions and overall storm activity across the country. Either way, it’s always best to be prepared for the worst.
The Science of Tornadoes
Thanks to advancements in technology and science, we now know quite a bit about tornadoes. We know that they are spawned from severe thunderstorms, and that they usually form in the springtime. We also know that they are most likely to form in the Midwest, specifically in states like Kansas. But how many tornadoes can we expect in Kansas in 2021?
What is a tornado?
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, and they can occur anywhere in the world.
Tornadoes are most often observed in the central United States, particularly in an area known as “Tornado Alley.” This region extends from northern Texas to South Dakota and includes parts of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Iowa. Tornadoes also occur frequently in the southeastern United States.
Although tornadoes can occur at any time of year, they are most common in the spring and summer months. In the United States, peak tornado season is from April to June.
The vast majority of tornadoes are what are known as “weak” tornadoes. These tornadoes typically have winds of less than 110 miles per hour (177 kilometers per hour) and cause only minor damage. However, even weak tornadoes can be deadly if they strike populated areas or if they contain large amounts of flying debris.
Approximately 1,200 tornadoes touch down in the United States each year. Of these, about 60 are classified as “strong” or “violent”tornadoes. These storms have winds of 111 miles per hour (179 kilometers per hour) or more and can cause significant damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles. They can also uproot trees and downed power lines and create large hail stones. Fortunately, only a few dozen people are killed by tornadoes each year in the United States.
What causes a tornado?
Most tornadoes in the United States occur east of the Rocky Mountains during the spring and summer. Tornado Alley is a nickname given to an area in the Southern Plains of the central United States that consistently experiences a high number of tornadoes each year.
There are many factors that contribute to the formation of tornadoes, but the primary cause is thunderstorms. Thunderstorms form when warm, moist air rises into the atmosphere and meets cooler, drier air. This interaction creates instability in the atmosphere, which can lead to severe weather conditions like hail, high winds and tornadoes.
There are three main types of thunderstorms that can produce tornados: supercell thunderstorms, squall lines and multi-cell clusters. Supercell thunderstorms are the most likely to produce tornadoes because they have rotating updrafts that can sustain strong winds for long periods of time. However, all three types of thunderstorms have the potential to produce tornados under the right conditions.
Tornado season in the United States typically runs from April through June, with May being peak tornado month. However, tornados can occur at any time of year and in any part of the country.
What is the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning?
The difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning is that a tornado watch is issued when conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes, while a tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar.
What is the Fujita Scale?
The Fujita Scale is a measure of tornado intensity, based on damage caused by the tornado. The scale runs from F0 (light damage) to F5 (catastrophic damage). The higher the number, the more severe the damage.
The History of Tornadoes in Kansas
Kansas is known as the “Tornado Alley” because it has more tornadoes per square mile than any other state. The last few years have been particularly active, with an above-average number of tornadoes. So, how many tornadoes can we expect in Kansas in 2021?
The deadliest tornado in Kansas
In 1925, a massive tornado ripped through Kansas, killing more than 200 people. It was the deadliest tornado in Kansas history. The twister struck on May 20, around 6:30 p.m. near the town of Baxter Springs. It was part of a large outbreak of tornadoes that day that killed more than 700 people across the Midwest.
The tornado was about a mile wide and traveled for more than 100 miles, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. It leveled homes and businesses, and even swept away cars and trucks. More than 20 people were killed outright, and hundreds more were injured. Many of the injured were taken to hospitals in Joplin, Missouri, which was just across the state line.
The death toll from the tornado could have been even higher if not for the heroic efforts of local residents who risked their lives to help their neighbors. They went into heavily damaged areas to search for survivors and bring them to safety. In all, more than 200 people were killed by the tornado, making it the deadliest in Kansas history.
The costliest tornado in Kansas
The costliest tornado in Kansas occurred on May 4, 2007. It was an EF5 that struck Greensburg, causing $250 million in damage.
The most recent tornado in Kansas
The last notable tornado to hit Kansas was on May 16, 2019. It was an EF3 that struck Wichita, causing significant damage to several buildings. There have been no reported tornadoes in Kansas so far in 2020.
The Forecast for Tornadoes in Kansas in 2021
According to AccuWeather, the tornado forecast for Kansas in 2021 is looking pretty grim. There could be up to 1,000 tornadoes in the state this year. That’s a lot of tornadoes! let’s take a look at some of the factors that are causing this forecast.
The number of tornadoes in Kansas in 2021
Although it is impossible to predict the exact number of tornadoes that will occur in Kansas in 2021, meteorologists expect that the state will see a higher than average number of storms. This is due to a variety of factors, including the La Niña weather pattern and an increase in wind shear across the Midwest. Kansas is particularly vulnerable to tornadoes, due to its location in the so-called “Tornado Alley.” On average, the state sees around 50 tornadoes per year. However, some years are much worse than others. For example, in 2008, Kansas saw 139 tornadoes, while in 2010 there were only 27.
The areas most at risk for tornadoes in Kansas in 2021
With an average of 80 tornadoes per year, Kansas is one of the states most at risk for severe weather. And while the number of tornadoes varied widely from year to year, the state has seen an uptick in tornado activity in recent years.
So, how many tornadoes can we expect in Kansas in 2021?
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to say for sure. But some experts believe that Kansas could see a higher than normal number of tornadoes this year due to a variety of factors, including an expected increase in Atlantic hurricanes and a favorable atmospheric pattern for tornado development.
While there’s no way to know exactly how many tornadoes will touch down in Kansas this year, it’s important to be prepared for severe weather. If you live in or plan to visit the state, be sure to keep an eye on the forecast and consider investing in a reliable weather radio so you can receive warnings if a tornado does develop.
According to the NOAA, the average number of tornadoes in Kansas is 54. However, this number can vary greatly from year to year. For example, in 2017 there were 155 tornadoes in Kansas, while in 2020 there were only 15.
Tornado activity in Kansas typically peaks in May, but twisters can occur at any time from March through June. Most tornadoes in Kansas occur in the western and central parts of the state.
While it is not possible to say exactly how many tornadoes will occur in Kansas in 2021, we can expect that the number will be somewhere between 15 and 155.