PORTLAND -- With seemingly constant media coverage of tornadoes, it might surprise you to know the number of tornadoes between May 2012 and April 2013 was at a record low.
National Weather Service tornado records showed 197 storms rated EF1 or stronger were verified over the 12-month period. NWS tornado records are considered accurate dating back to 1954. Before the last year, the record-low period for EF1 and stronger tornadoes was 247 twisters, from June 1991 to May 1992.
The past 12 months of low tornado development comes after the record period for the most twisters when 1050 were verified from June 2010 through May 2011. The 2010/2011 period was the most active tornado season since the early 1970s.
During the record-low period over the past year, seven people were killed by tornadoes. Fatality records go back to 1875, and since that time, the lowest death rate for 12 months was five, in 1898/1899. This past 12 months was the 2nd-lowest total ever recorded.
So far this year, 231 tornadoes have been reported. It will take some time to verify the actual count. Here is hoping for a quiet severe-weather season to come. The most active severe weather typically comes nationwide between April and June. By July 1st, the stormy weather quickly calms.
KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill