US on track for one of the worst years for tornado fatalities since 1875

WASHINGTON - Sunday's fatal outbreak of tornados in Joplin, Mo., and elsewhere in the Midwest make it likely that 2011 will become the deadliest year for the storms since at least 1953. Listed below are the 10 worst years for tornado fatalities going back to 1875.

The death count for this year is preliminary, based on deaths attributed to the April 27 tornados that racked Alabama and other southern states. If the estimated toll of 89 killed in the Joplin twister holds true, this season will already rank as the ninth worst.

1925 -- 794
1936 -- 552
1917 -- 551
1927 -- 540
1896 -- 537
1953 -- 519
1920 -- 499
1908 -- 477
1909 -- 404
1932 -- 394

2011 -- 363, as of April 27 tornado outbreak.

Source: Harold Brooks, research meteorologist, National Severe Storms Center, Norman, Okla. The National Weather Service began formally archiving tornado data in 1950; earlier totals are based on various historical accounts.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments