JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's not often I have good news to report when it comes to tornadoes but 2014 is among the quietest starts to a tornado season on record according to many sources including The Weather Channel, Wunderground and NOAA.
To date, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there have been 108 tornadoes through April 22, 2014 and 0 deaths. That's zero deaths!
The last time the nation made it to this point in the year without a tornado death was 1915, reports meteorologist Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla. That year, the first tornado death was on May 6.
Violent tornadoes (EF-3 or higher) are responsible for approximately 83% of all tornado related deaths according the Weather Channel.
Knowing that, it's no surprise then that as of April 22nd, there have been zero EF-3 or higher rated tornadoes anywhere in the entire country. That is a new record dating back to 1950 according to the University of Alabama-Huntsville. The previous record was March 31st. The lack of violent tornadoes and no deaths seem to go hand-in-hand.
However it should be noted that even seasons with slow starts or fewer tornadoes can still have major outbreaks. There has never been a season on record that had zero tornado related deaths. Heading into May, we'll need to continue be vigilant as May can and has produced some of the strongest tornadoes on record including the May 3rd, 1999 tornado that went through the Oklahoma City suburb or Moore with winds exceeding 300 mph.