Share

Tornadoes in January: Fast Facts

By Chris Dolce
Published: January 11, 2014

As you might expect, January is typically one of the least active months for tornadoes. However, as we've seen the last couple of years, you cannot let your guard down during the month.

Typical January tornado threat area.

Two years ago, an outbreak of tornadoes struck parts of the Mid-South and Southeast Jan. 22 to 23, killing two people. And last year, thunderstorms produced widespread damaging wind gusts and 61 tornadoes in parts of the South, Ohio Valley and the Mid-Atlantic Jan. 29 to 30.

As the map to the right illustrates, parts of the South are the most at risk for tornadoes in January. This is due to the region's closer proximity to Gulf of Mexico moisture, which gets squashed southward during the winter. However, at times, this moisture can get pulled north by weather systems moving across the country in January, resulting in an increased chance of severe weather, including possible tornadoes.

For more information on tornadoes in January, watch our video above from severe weather expert Dr. Greg Forbes. Below are some January tornado facts.

January Tornado Facts:

  • Average number of January tornadoes in the last 10 years: 39
  • Most tornadoes ever recorded in January: 212 in 1999
  • Largest January tornado outbreak: 129 from Jan. 21 to Jan. 22, 1999
  • Deadliest January tornadoes: 55 killed in Warren, Ark. on Jan. 3, 1949 and 55 killed in Fort Smith, Ark. on Jan. 11, 1898.

MORE: Tornado Risk By Month

January Tornado Risk

January Tornado Risk

weather.com

30-year average number of tornadoes through 2011: 27

  • January Tornado Risk
  • February Tornado Risk
  • March Tornado Risk
  • April Tornado Risk
  • May Tornado Risk
  • June Tornado Risk
  • July Tornado Risk
  • August Tornado Risk
  • September Tornado Risk
  • October Tornado Risk
  • November Tornado Risk
  • December Tornado Risk

 

 

 


Featured Blogs

Quiet in the Atlantic; Two Disturbances for Hawaii to Watch

By Dr. Jeff Masters
July 27, 2015

The tropics have fallen silent the past two days, with no named storms anywhere on the planet. The tropical cyclone-free period will likely be short lived, though, as Invest 90E, located in the Eastern Pacific about 1,050 miles southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula on Monday morning, may develop into a tropical depression by Wednesday.

Another Dry California Precipitation Season Draws to a Close

By Christopher C. Burt
June 30, 2015

The 2014-2015 precipitation season ended today (June 30th) and the drought continues unabated. Although the precipitation totals for the July 1-June 30 (2014-2015) period do not appear to be all that bad (generally 60-85% of average) this does not tell the whole story. A very wet December saved what otherwise would have been a catastrophically dry year. In fact, the past six months (since January 1st) have been one of the driest such periods on record for many locations, including San Francisco. Here are some details about the past rainy season and the current drought.

PWS Service Interruption Update

By Shaun Tanner
June 16, 2015

The development team here at Weather Underground has been hard at work producing a new homepage! Please take a look at the sneak peek and tell us what you think!

Meteorological images of the year - 2014

By Stu Ostro
December 30, 2014

My 9th annual edition.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.