SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When in drought, it’s hard enough to get rain, let alone severe weather. And while some drought years can produce a fair number of tornadoes, most do not.
So far, the tornado count in South Dakota for 2023 is 12. If that number sounds a bit low, that would be correct.
We are averaging around 20 tornadoes per year in South Dakota in recent years. In 2019, the year of the Sioux Falls tornadoes, we had 25.
Drought years are usually lower. Take a look at the map from 2012. 11 tornadoes were recorded that year.
Tornado numbers cycle up and down through the years. We often bring up Tornado Tuesday and the 2003 tally of 80 tornadoes for the year.
But the decade of the 1990s was very active too, with some of the biggest numbers in 1992 and 1993.
Don’t forget that records just prior to that time were very low, with only 4 tornadoes in South Dakota in 1988.
And so the cycles of highs and lows in tornadoes is nothing new in South Dakota. Hopefully, we’ll close the books on tornado season for this year very soon.