Where are the tornadoes? We are headed toward a near record low number of tornadoes in the month of August in the U.S. Four brief and small tornadoes were reported on Monday – three in North Dakota and one in Colorado. That’s the most tornadoes of any day this month.

There were no tornadoes at all on nine of the first 15 days of August and as of early Tuesday, we have had just 13 tornadoes in the entire U.S. – all pretty much small and insignificant. The landspout tornado pictured above was sighted near Denver, Colorado on August 5th. It was on the ground for just seven minutes (pic. from KDVR and Christopher Razoff).

Michigan has had just two tornadoes so far this year (the EF3 tornado on May 20 in Gaylord) and a small EF0 tornado in Genesee and Oakland County on July 11. Michigan averages 16 tornadoes per year.

Number of tornadoes so far this year, compared to the greatest, least and percentiles

Note the graph above. The tornado count this year is the black line. We started off with a relatively high number of tornadoes in March and April. After that, the tornado count dropped, relative to average. Today, we’re at 872 tornadoes, below the 25th percentile through August 14.

We have had just 18 tornadoes deaths this year – 14 of them in March. Last year we had 103 tornado fatalities in the U.S. Oklahoma has had only 14 tornadoes this year and Tennessee just five.