Now that we are into April, tornado season should really start to ramp up. While March can be an active month, in the average year, April will see double the tornadoes that March does. It also starts the 3 month stretch for the most tornado prone time period for the United States. April, May, and June typically account for two thirds of the annual number of tornadoes in the Lower 48. They not only become more frequent, but they also start occurring much further north. Most tornadoes in February and March occur in the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Alabama, with occasional outbreaks a touch further north from Oklahoma to Tennessee. But by April, warmer air is moving further north with tornadoes becoming more frequent as far north as Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois. Check out the total number of tornadoes in each state and each county across the country since 1950. Images courtesy of USTornadoes.com
The most common areas to get tornadoes are in pockets in northeast Texas through Oklahoma and into southern Kansas, plus spots in northern Alabama and even central Illinois. Notice even Minnesota gets in on the action with a couple dozen southern and central counties lighting up.
While tornadoes are possible in April in Minnesota, our season doesn't really ramp up until May. In fact, more than 75% of tornadoes that touchdown in our state occur in May, June, and July. Fun fact: Minnesota actually averages the most tornadoes per year in the month of July than in any other state in the country (11). As for April though, we average about 1 a year (many years it's zero, some years it's 5 or 6).