May is Tornado Month in Oklahoma

May 5, 2013

May 3, 1999 tornado paths in Oklahoma
Credit National Weather Service

Tis the season ... when we check the forecasts, make sure the batteries in the radios are good, and rehearse safety plans with the family and our neighbors.  Tornado season is here.

The National Weather Service in Norman reports that just 16 tornadoes have formed in Oklahoma in 2013 for far:  2 in January, 2 in March and 12 in April.  The month of May averages about 21 tornadoes each year: May of 2010 brought 91 tornadoes, May 2011 saw on 46 tornadoes and last year there were only 4.

Tulsa and Oklahoma City are #6 and #7 on a list of areas most likely to have a tornado this season, according to the Weather Channel.

The Weather Channel has a prediction of the top ten cities most likely to be hit with a tornado this spring.  Tulsa and Oklahoma City are #6 and #7 on the list. reports that the colder-than-usual spring has reduced the number of tornadoes so far in 2013.

But as StateImpact Oklahoma reported last March, forecasters think that the drought experienced in the last several years lead to fewer tornadoes in 2012, and the drought's effects could repeat for 2013.

Despite that, MSM Money reports that insurance losses due to tornadoes is climbing, and so are the rates, noting that  

"insurance rates on homes valued at under $1 million went up 4% in March, compared to March of 2012, and homes valued at more than $1 million had their rates go up 5%."

Last Friday was the 14th anniversary of the May 3rd, 1999 tornado outbreak.  KJLA in Tulsa has a article and a slide show.