2012's Tornado Drought

Though drought is never welcome, one positive benefit of a lack of rainfall in the summertime is a lack of tornadoes.  After a brisk start to the year, the frequency of tornadoes has dropped significantly since mid-April.  As a matter of fact, depending on how many tornadoes Isaac ends up producing, this may be one of the United States' quietest summers on record with regard to tornadoes.  Here in southern Indiana and central Kentucky, this has been our first meteorological summer (June 1 - August 31) without a tornado since 2007.

2012 Tornado Map
Here is a map that shows tornado reports for 2012 through late August (tornadoes from Isaac are not included on this map).  The geographical distribution of the tornadoes is fairly typical.  Note the large number of tornadoes in the Ohio Valley thanks to the Leap Day and March 2 outbreaks.  The April 14 outbreak in central Kansas is also readily apparent.

2012 Tornado Frequency Graph
Now, check out this graph of tornado frequency so far in 2012.  The late winter and early spring months were very active.  Once again, the March 2 and April 14 outbreaks stick out like sore thumbs.  Then look at the amazing drop in tornadoes by mid-summer.  The nation saw fewer tornadoes this July than in any other prior July back to the beginning of reliable records in 1950.

Here in southern Indiana and central Kentucky we have issued only one Tornado Warning all summer.  Our most recent tornado touchdown was an EF0 twister that struck near Bedford, KY on May 1.

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