Chief Meteorologist Paul Wetzl has been digging through the statistics for our area over the past few weeks. He pulled some old records to find out how many tornadoes have touched down in our region, how strong they were and when they hit.
We’ve had a tornado every month of the year dating back to 1950 except for the month of December.
Although they are rare in winter, it has happened. Just this year, we saw our first recorded January tornado.
There have been 77 tornadoes in our region since 1950. Mercer County has been hit with the highest number of tornadoes locally with 18. Trumbull and Mahoning counties have experienced 16. Columbiana County has seen 17. Lawrence County saw a total of 10.
Most of these tornadoes have been weak ones at EF or F0, or EF or F1 strength. There have only been two strong tornadoes — one F4 and one F5.
The May 31, 1985 tornado outbreak has been the worst by far. It was the only time we had an F5 registered locally. That tornado ripped through southern Trumbull and Mercer counties.
That outbreak also produced an F4 in northern Mercer County, an F3 in northwest Trumbull County and an F2 in northern Columbiana County.
In our area, we have seen the most tornadoes happen in July. June came in second and August came in third.
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