SHOW ME THE RECORDS: U.S. killer tornado statistics

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 | 11:49 a.m. CDT; updated 8:35 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You can learn a lot about your community, state and country. Open records help people keep government in check and help them better understand how government affects their lives. 

The Records: U.S. killer tornado statistics.

Why you’d want them: The records provided show the location of every tornado-related fatality. The Web page provides the date, town and number of deaths, as well as the chronology and magnitude of every fatal tornado to touch American soil since 2000.

With the Joplin aftermath still fresh and an unusually severe tornado season throughout the Midwest, it’s important to understand where tornadoes are appearing and the level of damage they cause. The records also present an account of fatalities attributed to each tornado magnitude, which provides context to the level of danger in an F5 tornado, such as the one that hit Joplin.

The Storm Prediction Center reports that of the 518 tornado fatalities this year, 228 were from F5 tornadoes, which is the highest danger rating.

Where you get them: Go to to find the Storm Prediction Center website. On the left-hand side of the page, there is a link that says “Storm Reports” about halfway down. From there, scroll down to “Tornado-related Fatality Information.” Click on the map of the U.S. At the top of the page, you can choose the year in which you are.

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