May is typically one of the most active severe weather months for us here in Oklahoma. We had our fair share of severe thunderstorms, large hail, strong wind storms, and we even had a few tornadoes. This May will go down as one of the least tornado producing Mays since accurate tornado statistics were started back in 1950. This came as a welcome change of pace from the active April we had this year with a near record of 34 tornadoes.
So how did May stack up this year? Right now the preliminary tornado count is at 3. If this turns out to be the final count, May 2012 will be the third least tornado producing May on record. It will come in behind May 1988 which had only 2 tornadoes, and of course coming in behind May 2005 with zero tornadoes all month long. All three of these years (2012, 2005, and 1988) saw far less than the average number of tornadoes for May in Oklahoma, which stands at 22.
Now to compare this May to our last few, very active, Mays. I don't mean to downplay the severe weather we've seen over the past month, especially the destructive hail over the past few days; but in comparison to 2011 and 2010, this May has been pretty quiet. Oklahoma was hit by a record-tying 90 tornadoes in May 2010 and with a destructive count of 46 for May of 2011. We still have a few more weeks left in our typical severe weather season before we transition into summer. I should point out, that just because the seasons are changing, doesn't mean we are finished with tornadoes. We can get tornadoes any month of the year in Oklahoma. I know we are all a little anxious and hesitant to see what this summer will have in store, but for now (at least for today), I'm going to soak up this cool, cloudy, rainy day, and try to prepare myself for what's around the corner.
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