April has been confirmed as the busiest month for tornadoes in recorded history, officials announced.
The Storm Prediction Center’s final report for the month shows 753 tornadoes touched down around the country. That figure includes the “super outbreak” from April 25-28 that killed more than 300 people in the South and Midwest.
The “Dixie Outbreak” on April 27 set a one-day record for tornado deaths since 1950. Although final death statistics are still under review, current estimates for the day range from 313 to 317 – though officials say that number could still go higher. In any event, the total surpasses the 310 deaths on April 3, 1974.
The final tornado count eliminated duplicate reports, whittling the preliminary count of 875. But the reduced final number still tops the former record of 543 tornadoes in May 2003.
The tornado death toll for the year so far is 546, including 364 in April and another 177 in May. That total ranks 2011 fourth overall in tornado fatalities. The top spot belongs to 1925, when 794 deaths occurred.