AccuWeather predicts there will be 1,075 tornadoes in 2019, which is nine percent more than the 987 tornadoes in 2018. However, the figure is six percent fewer than the U.S. annual average of 1,141.
The 525 tornadoes expected from March through May is almost exactly the normal average of 526 from March through May. In 2018, just 345 occurred from March through May.
AccuWeather projects a higher frequency of severe weather risks in the traditional Tornado Alley. The states to be impacted the most will include Oklahoma, Kansas, and parts of Texas and Nebraska.
“We believe that the more traditional severe weather region of the central and southern Plains will have a higher potential for tornadoes and severe weather more frequently than they have experienced on average the past three years,” said AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
This forecast was shared with AccuWeather’s subscription clients last week and now is made available to the public free of charge as a public service.
“We believe warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures over the Gulf of Mexico will lead to increased moisture transport from the Gulf over the region and ultimately a higher frequency of severe weather in these areas,” Pastelok said.
Last year, the U.S. set record lows for the number of fatalities and the number of “violent” tornadoes, those with estimated wind speeds of 166 mph or higher. Tornadoes killed just 10 Americans last year, the lowest number since record-keeping began in 1875. The previous record low total was 12 in 1910. Tornadoes cause an average of 80 U.S. fatalities annually.
John Roach, AccuWeather staff writer