Spring brings tornado season in the Midwest, and we’re headed into the most active month — May — for the twisters.
Using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Events Database, The Star plotted the start and end paths of tornadoes from the past seven years in Kansas and Missouri. Data show that while the next three months historically have been the peak activity for twisters in the two states, May has been the most active month. Of the 1,126 tornadoes that have been on the ground in the two states, about 40 percent have occurred in May.
The time of day matters too — they were more prevalent between 3 and 8 p.m., but they happened at all hours of the day.
The deadliest tornado struck Joplin on May 22, 2011, killing 158 people. There were three other indirect deaths associated with the storm.
Some counties in the two states are more prone to getting hit. A look at historical data since the 1950s shows that counties in south central and central Kansas and southwest Missouri have had the most tornadoes.
Here’s a look at the data:
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