This year has seen an unusually high number of tornadoes, with 1,168 as of May 22, compared to an average of about 671 by this time, according to Joshua Wurman, head of the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder, Colo.To put 2011 in historical perspective, the totals reflect a new record for most tornadoes in any month, when 875 occurred in April 2011. That smashed the previous April and monthly records by a wide margin in both cases - 267 and 542, respectively. The bulk of those April 2011 tornadoes occurred in two super-outbreaks.
The United States is on pace to break its record for deaths from tornadoes this season, the National Weather Service has said.
It's also a reminder that while the tornado season continues through the Great Plains and traditional Tornado Alley, we're about to enter hurricane season, and the precautions that one should take to prepare for a tornado overlaps with the hurricane precautions, including setting aside a go-bag and setting aside key valuables and items in case of emergency.