No Tornado Deaths in April-May-June for First Time Since Record-Keeping Began

JULY 6, 2005 - Posted at 8:03 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON - For the first time since record-keeping started in 1950, no one was killed by a tornado in the United States in April, May or June.

Normally those are the top months for tornadoes with an average of 52 fatalities, sometimes many more.

Joe Schaefer, director of NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says it is amazing there have been no deaths in the prime tornado months.

April was about average with 137 tornadoes but they were primarily in southern areas.  May was way below average with 134 tornadoes.  While there were 299 twisters in June, they mainly occured in northern regions such as Wisconsin and Minnesota.  The tornadoes for the most part missed big cities.

Schaefer says improved storm warnings helped avert deaths, but it also helped to not have tornadoes in the past three months in large Midwestern cities.

There have been five tornado deaths altogether this year, four in January and one in March.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)