According to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, tornado deaths for the first six months of 2010 (which includes the entire tornado season) are at a near record low level of 29. While tornadoes can occur any month of the year, “tornado season” ends June 30th. On average, 86% of annual deaths from tornadoes occur the first half of the year (hat tip: Harold Brooks).
In Warnings, I present my case that the dramatic improvements in warning accuracy are saving thousands of lives each year. This year’s statistics support my case: Twenty-eight of the 29 deaths occurred in tornado watches.
Given that tornadoes occurred in the densely populated Oklahoma City and Detroit Metro areas along combined with the tornado that crossed the entire width of Mississippi, the potential for casualties was high. The low number of deaths is a major scientific achievement.