Tornado Activity In The U.S. Sees Historic Lows in 2018 With Fewest Deaths, No Violent Twisters

As most of Texas and parts of surrounding states are facing severe weather the day after Christmas, the country is looking at a historic low for violent tornadoes in 2018.

With five days left in the year, The Weather Channel reported that the United States will finish with the fewest tornado deaths on record, should no tornadoes touch down and create fatalities before January 1.

And should no EF4/5 tornadoes hit the U.S. in the next five days, it would mark the first time that none have hit in a calendar year since that record began in 1950, according to the Washington Post.

Saturday's EF3 tornado in Christian County, IL was just the 10th EF3 of the year, and the fist since July 28

The U.S. averages around 30 EF3 twisters a year

There have been ZERO EF4s and 5s in 2018

— Greg Diamond (@gdimeweather) December 4, 2018

A tornado in Aurora, Montana on Dec. 1. killed one person, bringing the national fatality toll to 10 for 2018. The fewest tornado deaths in one calendar year was 12 in 1912. The second-fewest was 15 in 1986, according to the NOAA National Severe Storm Laboratory.

In the time frame of 1986-2016, there was an average of 69 people killed by tornadoes every year, but that number has decreased over the years. The last time there were 69 or more deaths by tornado was 2012, when there were 69. There were 18 Americans killed by tornadoes in 2016 and 35 in 2017.

The National Weather Service said jet stream patterns last spring kept away any volatility that usually brings together the right ingredients for tornadoes. High pressure kept the Gulf's moisture from moving northward last spring, keeping the plains states free from violent tornadoes in 2018.

December is historically low when it comes to tornadoes — averaging 31 for the month. The country nearly hit that in one day when a weather system produced 26 twisters in central and southern Illinois.

There have been 1,154 confirmed tornadoes in 2018, all of them classified below an EF4. The most for a single day in 2018 was Halloween, which saw 61 twisters. Iowa and Louisiana top the list with 84 each this year, followed by Mississippi (67), Illinois (64) and Alabama (52), according to NOAA.

Many of the deaths this year occurred in the Sun Belt, from Missouri to Louisiana and eastward to the Atlantic.

However, severe weather is expected over the southern United States Wednesday night and into Thursday.

Counties in the Lone Star State have been under a tornado watch, as are some counties in Oklahoma and parishes in Louisiana. The lightning was so bad at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, the Servpro First Responders Bowl was canceled during the first half Wednesday afternoon. Airports from DFW to Bush International in Houston grounded flights — Bush Airport finally cleared flights to take off and land. But the severe weather is supposed to last through the night, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The storm — named Eboni — could spawn isolated tornadoes in the South while dumping up to three inches of rain for parts of the Eastern seaboard. The storm has also created blizzard conditions in portions of New Mexico. Montana and the Dakotas have also seen significant snowfall from the storm, and snow is expected for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Nebraska as well as portions of upper New England.