Number of Severe Storms in U.S. Below Average in July


There were 3,498 reports of severe weather (tornado, hail 1″ in diameter or greater, wind damage or wind 58 mph or greater) in the U.S. in July. That was below the 10-year average of 4,028 reports or 87% of the average.

Severe weather reports were well above average in PA, NY and southern New England, also in the western Dakotas and near Phoenix AZ and Las Vegas NV. As is often the case in mid summer, there were fewer severe weather reports in the deep South, including much of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and S. Alabama.

Tornado Reports in the U.S. in July

We had 148 reported tornadoes in the U.S. in July 2021. That was well above the 10-year average of 88 for the month or 168% of average. Most of the tornadoes were labeled weak, rated EF0 or EF1. Six of the tornadoes were rated EF2 and two were rated EF3 (on July 14 at Lake City IA and July 29 at Somerton PA).

There were two tornadoes in Washington D.C. on July 1. One moved into the downtown and dissipated at the National Mall, knocking over porta-potties that were set up for the July 4 concert.

Tornado damage at Ohatchee, Alabama

The strongest tornado of the year so far and the only EF4 in 2021 hit Newnan, Georgia on the night of March 25-26. The twister began shortly before midnight in Alabama and moved across into Georgia. It was on the ground for 53 minutes and at one point was over a mile wide! The picture above shows a manufacturing plant in Alabama. Twenty-two people were survived, but the building was destroyed. There was one fatality in GA. Maximum winds in that tornado were estimated to be 170 mph.

There were 4 tornadoes in SE Michigan on 7/24 – one each in Genesee, Macomb, Oakland and Huron Counties. Three of those tornadoes were EF1 and one was EF0. Don’t quote me on this, but I think we’re at 13 confirmed tornadoes for Michigan for 2021. The average is 16, so we’re pretty much having an average year.

Severe Reports in Michigan in 2021

Here’s severe reports in Michigan thru 7/17 – red dots are where tornadoes have been confirmed, blue dots are wind damage reports and green dots are hail reports.

30-Year Average – Severe Weather Reports on August 6

The map above shows a 30-year average of the probability of a severe weather report within 25 miles of a given point for August 6. Note that S. Michigan sees more severe reports per square mile in early August than places like S. Florida, Louisiana and Texas…an there’s the little circle in Arizona where they get occasional strong thunderstorm winds with afternoon/evening t-storms that form over the mountains and move southwest toward Phoenix.

G.R. CLIMATE DATA: The record high temperature for Grand Rapids on August 6 is 102 set way back in 1918. The record low temperature is 46 set in 1948. Today we have 3 minutes less daylight than yesterday, with the sunrise at 6:39 am and the sunset at 8:56 pm.

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