What states have the most tornadoes?

Illinois experienced the most tornadoes in 2023, followed by Alabama and Texas.

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Pat HowardManaging Editor & Licensed Home Insurance ExpertPat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.&Rachael BrennanSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertRachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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Jennifer GimbelJennifer GimbelSenior Managing Editor & Home Insurance ExpertJennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.
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Kristi Sullivan, CFP®Kristi Sullivan, CFP®Certified Financial PlannerKristi Sullivan, CFP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, she was a regional consultant at Fidelity Investments for nine years.

Updated|3 min read

Expert reviewedExpert reviewedThis article has been reviewed by a member of ourFinancial Review Council to ensure all sources, statistics, and claims meet the highest standard for accurate and unbiased advice.Learn more about oureditorial review process.

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What to do if you’ve been impacted by 2024 tornadoes

Over 100 tornadoes swept through several states at the end of April, 2024, including parts of Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa. Homeowners impacted by these tornadoes may need to file a claim with their insurance company for damage caused by the storms. Policygenius has several resources available to help guide homeowners through the claims process. Homeowners looking for a new insurance policy can reach out to our expert home insurance agents to compare quotes from multiple companies.

How to file a storm damage insurance claim

Does homeowners insurance cover tornado damage?

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2023 was predicted to have a heavy tornado season. While the year didn’t end up being as severe as experts predicted, there were still higher-than-average numbers of twisters, with 1,423 tornadoes wreaking havoc across the country in 2023. And 2024 is predicted to have higher-than-average numbers of tornadoes as well, with AccuWeather predicting somewhere between 1,250 and 1,375 tornadoes before the end of the year. [1]

Read on to find out what states historically experience the most twisters each year — and how to ensure your home insurance policy adequately covers you against tornado damage.

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Top 5 states with the most tornadoes in 2024 so far

Here's a look at the top five states with the most tornadoes in 2024 as of January 31st — the most recent data available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).:

State

Approx. number of tornadoes as of April 1, 2024

Illinois

136

Alabama

101

Texas

89

Colorado

89

Mississippi

81

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Top 10 states with the most tornadoes in 2023 vs. 2022

There were 1,423 tornadoes recorded in the U.S. in 2023, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). [2] Illinois has experienced the most tornadoes with 136 touching down in the state, followed by Alabama and Texas.

Mississippi experienced the most tornadoes in 2022, followed by Texas and Alabama. Here's a complete look at the top 10 states with the most tornadoes in 2023 compared to 2022, according to the NOAA. [3]

State

Number of tornadoes in 2023

State

Number of tornadoes in 2022

Illinois

136

Mississippi

183

Alabama

101

Texas

159

Texas

89

Alabama

117

Colorado

89

Minnesota

77

Mississippi

81

Florida

73

Nebraska

81

Kansas

68

Iowa

73

Louisiana

61

Georgia

58

Arkansas

56

Ohio

56

Georgia

56

Tennessee

53

Iowa

53

Collapse table

Based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service Preliminary Severe Weather Report Summary of 2023, which was last updated December 31, 2023, as well as the NOAA National Service Preliminary Severe Weather Report Summary of 2022.

What state has the most tornadoes on average?

Since 1997, Texas has averaged 135 tornadoes per year — the highest of any other state in the U.S., according to our analysis of data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). [4] It’s followed by Kansas with 91 annual tornadoes and Oklahoma with 75 twisters per year.

As you can see in the map above, the majority of tornadoes are concentrated in states throughout the Midwest and Southeast. 

Of the average 1,375 tornadoes that occur in the U.S. each year, 75% of them form in states located in Tornado Alley and Dixie Alley — two regions with a disproportionately high number of tornadoes due to ideal twister-forming weather conditions that persist for long stretches of the year.

What states don’t have tornadoes?

Alaska, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C. rarely see tornadoes — they averaged zero tornadoes annually over the last 25 years, according to our analysis of NOAA data.

Tornadoes by state over the last 25 years

Here’s a complete breakdown of the average number of tornadoes per year in each state over the last 25 years.

Top 10 states with the most tornadoes

Here are the top 10 states with the most tornadoes annually over the last 25 years:

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Why the term “Tornado Alley” may be a thing of the past

While it’s no secret that states like Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Nebraska experience a lot of tornadoes, meteorologists report the term “Tornado Alley” may be outdated. That’s because in recent years, the most destructive tornadoes have actually shifted east with more twisters happening in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and other Southern states. Experts fear that continuing to use the term “Tornado Alley” will leave many Americans outside these historically tornado-prone areas grossly underestimating their risk of experiencing a dangerous twister.

Does home insurance cover tornado damage?

Homeowners insurance covers tornado damage caused by wind and hail, fallen trees, and wind-driven rain. However, water damage from flooding that occurs during a twister would not be covered under your standard home insurance policy — you’ll need separate flood insurance for that.

The one exception is if you live in an area at high risk for wind damage — your home insurance policy might exclude coverage for wind and hail. In this case, you’ll need to purchase a separate wind-only policy to fill that coverage gap.

Struggling to find coverage? Check out your state’s FAIR Plan

If you live in a tornado-prone area and you’re unable to find homeowners insurance due to your home’s high risk, our experts recommend looking into your state’s Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan.

This type of homeowners insurance is run at a state level, but funded by private insurance companies, and is generally more expensive and more limited than normal homeowners insurance. FAIR Plans are a last-resort option for homes that don’t qualify for a standard policy. You can also combine FAIR Plan coverage with a difference in conditions (DIC) policy to fill in any coverage gaps.

Do I need to pay a separate deductible for tornado damage?

Depending on your state and insurance company, you may have to pay a separate deductible on losses caused by wind and hail damage thanks to your separate windstorm insurance policy. Known as a wind/hail deductible, it can either be a flat-dollar amount or a percentage of your home’s dwelling coverage limit — usually between 1% and 5%.

You choose your deductible when you purchase your home insurance or windstorm insurance policy. A higher deductible leads to lower insurance rates, and vice versa.

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References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of oureditorial standards.

  1. United Press International

    . "

    Tornado Alley may roar to life as severe weather season ramps up

    ." Accessed April 30, 2024.

  2. NOAA

    . "

    Storm Prediction Center 2024 Annual Preliminary Report Summary

    ." Accessed April 30, 2024.

  3. NOAA's National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center

    . "

    Annual Severe Weather Report Summary 2022

    ." Accessed December 30, 2022.

  4. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    . "

    Storm Events Database

    ." Accessed June 09, 2022.

Authors

Pat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Editor

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

Expert reviewer

Kristi Sullivan, CFP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, she was a regional consultant at Fidelity Investments for nine years.

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