The biggest tornado events of 2018

2018 was another in a string of oddball tornado years. While it’s true that each year offers up it’s own set of events and very few are all that similar across the whole set of months, the abnormal has become normal in recent history. 

It was a relatively quiet peak season, which led to record lows for the biggest and deadliest of tornadoes. The state with the most powerful tornadoes? Wyoming. No memorable events in the southern Plains. Still a number of high-quality chase days nonetheless. 

If you’re seeking a longer list for the whole year, Wikipedia tends to do a good job — we know some of the folks working on that and trust them. Without further ado, some key 2018 tornado maps and stats…

Significant tornado outbreaks of 2018

Impactful outbreaks with at least 20 confirmed tornadoes and/or killer tornadoes and/or EF3+ tornadoes.

February 24

March 19

April 3

April 13-15

May 2-3

August 28

September 13-17 (Hurricane Florence)

September 20-21

October 9

October 31-November 1

November 5-6

November 30-December 2

EF3+ tornadoes

#1: EF3 – March 19: Alabama to Georgia

#2: EF3 – April 15: Lynchburg, Virginia

#3: EF3 – May 1: Tescott, Kansas

#4: EF3 – June 1: Gillette, Wyoming

#5: EF3 – June 6: Laramie, Wyoming

#6: EF3 – June 26: Eureka, Kansas

#7: EF3 – June 28: Camp Crook, South Dakota

#8: EF3 – July 19: Marshalltown, Iowa and #9: EF3: Pella, Iowa

#10: EF3 – July 28: Douglas, Wyoming

#11: EF3 – December 1: Taylorville, Illinois

#12: EF3 – December 2: Kings Bay, Georgia

#1: EF3 – March 19: Alabama to Georgia
#2: EF3 – April 15: Lynchburg, Virginia
#3: EF3 – May 1: Tescott, Kansas (Bennington 3.0)
#4: EF3 – June 1: Gillette, Wyoming
#5: EF3 – June 6: Laramie, Wyoming
#6: EF3 – June 26: Eureka, Kansas
#7: EF3 – June 28: Camp Crook, South Dakota
#8: EF3 – July 19: Marshalltown, Iowa
#9: EF3 – July 19: Pella, Iowa
#10: EF3 – July 28: Douglas, Wyoming
#11: EF3 – December 1: Taylorville, Illinois
#12: EF3 – December 2: Kings Bay, Georgia

Killer tornadoes

There were 10 tornado deaths during 2018, a record low for modern times. It was also the first year on record with no violent (EF4+ tornadoes). See SPC’s killer tornado page.

Top outbreaks, by numbers

#1: April 13-15: 72 tornadoes
#2: November 30 – December 2: 48 tornadoes
#3: October 31 – November 1: 47 tornadoes
#4: May 2-3: 40 tornadoes
#5: September 13-17: 38 tornadoes

Ian Livingston contributed to this post, and has worked with Katie on this idea over the years. Primary sources include the National Weather Service and Wikipedia.  Posted April 10, and last updated Feb 2019.

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Katie Wheatley

Katie currently works as a GIS Analyst for EA Engineering, Science and Technology, Inc., PBC in Hunt Valley, Maryland. See full bio.

One thought on “The biggest tornado events of 2018”

  1. Dorene says:

    My son moved this year to South Dakota, do I need to worry about Tornado’s or severe weather there?

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