When is tornado season in Kansas in 2022?

Tornado season in Kansas runs April through June each year, though it’s not unusual for a tornado to strike any month of the year.

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Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor and licensed home insurance agent 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.

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Kansas is one of the most tornado-prone states in the U.S., averaging around 92 annually. And so far in 2022, Kansas has experienced 50 twisters, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center, with most impacting the northwest and east sections of the state. [1]

But when exactly is tornado season in The Sunflower State? And how do you ensure your home and livelihood are completely protected? We break down everything you need to know about tornadoes and home insurance in Kansas.

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When is tornado season in Kansas?

Tornado season in Kansas runs April through June each year. In early spring, warm humid air from the Gulf of Mexico mixes with cool dry air from the North and warm dry air from the West, which combine to form tornadic conditions. While Kansas can experience a twister outside of April, May, and June, residents should be well prepared for disaster to strike during these months.

Where do most tornadoes occur in Kansas?

With 109 tornadoes from 1950 to 2020, Sherman County in northwest Kansas has experienced more twisters than any other county in Kansas, closely followed by Ford County with 107 and Barton County with 104. [2]

Tornadoes by county in Kansas

Here’s a complete look at the total number of tornadoes in each county in Kansas from 1950 to 2020, according to our analysis of NOAA data.

How many tornadoes hit Kansas each year?

From 1996 to 2020, Kansas had an annual average of 88 tornadoes, according to NOAA data. Here’s the total number of tornadoes each year in Kansas over the course of 25 years.

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Average number of tornadoes by month in Kansas

The month of May sees the most tornadoes in Kansas, followed by June, then April. November, December, January, and February see the least amount of tornadoes.

Here’s the average number of tornadoes per month in Kansas between 1950 and 2020, according to the NOAA.

Does home insurance in Kansas cover tornado damage?

Homeowners insurance in Kansas covers damage caused by tornadoes, including the wind, hail, and rain that accompany them. However, water damage from flooding that occurs during a tornado 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 damage from wind and hail. In this case, you’ll need to purchase a separate wind-only insurance policy to fill that coverage gap. 

Some Kansas homeowners have a separate windstorm deductible for tornado damage

If your home is damaged in a tornado in Kansas, your home insurance company may require you to pay a windstorm deductible that’s separate from your standard homeowners insurance deductible and applies specifically to wind and hail damage.

Windstorm deductibles in Kansas are typically a percentage of your policy’s dwelling coverage limit — usually between 1% and 5% — according to the Insurance Information Institute. You can choose your deductible when you purchase your home insurance or windstorm insurance policy. A higher deductible leads to lower insurance rates, and vice versa.

How to prepare for tornado season in Kansas

From installing storm-proof shutters on your windows to knowing where to take shelter should a disaster strike, here are a few ways to prepare for tornado season in Kansas.

1. Get your home ready for severe weather

This includes trimming tree limbs that hang close to your roof, removing dead trees from your yard, cleaning up any heavy debris (i.e. branches, bricks, firewood) on your property, and moving lawn furniture inside when a twister nears. If you live in an area especially prone to tornadoes, consider installing storm-proof window shutters or upgrading to an impact-resistant roof. 

2. Make an emergency kit

FEMA recommends packing a few bags with essentials you can easily grab as you take shelter when a tornado nears. Some items to include in your emergency kit include: water, non-perishable foods and baby formula, a can opener, moist towelettes and trash bags, batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, portable cell phone chargers, a battery-powered radio, and a whistle to signal for help.

3. Find a place to take shelter

While no place will keep you completely safe during a tornado, hunkering down in a basement or inside a windowless room on the lowest floor of your home is your safest bet. For even more protection, take shelter under something sturdy like a heavy table or workbench, cover yourself with a blanket or mattress, and protect your head from flying debris. 

4. Know the signs of a tornado

If you live in an area of Kansas at high risk for tornadoes, knowing what to look for during a severe weather system can help you stay prepared. Be on the lookout for rotating, funnel-shaped clouds, low-lying clouds of debris, large hail, a dark or green-colored sky, and a loud roar that sounds like a freight train — all of these could forewarn a tornado is near.

5. Sign up for severe weather alerts

Anyone can sign up for severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service via text, email, or phone. In addition, many cities throughout Kansas have outdoor warning siren systems to warn residents to take shelter indoors during extreme weather conditions, including tornadoes. 

6. Stay up to date on changing weather conditions

On top of signing up for weather alerts and keeping your ears to the ground for any outdoor warning sirens, staying up to date on changing weather conditions via your local news and radio stations or even through social media can help you know when a tornado is near.