Missouri ranks no. 8 on our list of the top states with the most tornadoes — averaging 56 tornadoes a year from 1997 to 2022. While Missourians can experience twisters every month of the year, the majority of tornadoes occur during April and May, according to Missouri State Climatologist, Pan Guinan. 
And 2023 is already shaping up to have more tornadoes than usual for this time of year across not just Tornado Alley, but the Southeast. 
“It’s pretty rare to see an active January and February that all of a sudden goes dull in April and May,” said Victor Gensini, an associate professor in the department of earth, atmosphere, and environment at Northern Illinois University. “When you look at tornado statistics, if it starts early in January and February, it’ll typically just keep going.” 
But what areas of Missouri see the most tornadoes? And how can you make sure you’re prepared? We break down everything you need to know about tornadoes and home insurance in Missouri.
When is tornado season in Missouri?
Peak tornado season in Missouri runs April through June each year, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).  These months see cold air from the Northwest mix with warm, humid air from the South to create the perfect storm for twisters to develop. While Missourians experience tornadoes during all 12 months of the year, they should be especially prepared during the spring.
Where do tornadoes hit the most in Missouri?
Southwest Missouri experiences the most tornadoes, followed closely by Southeast Missouri, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 
Tornadoes by county in Missouri
Here’s a complete look at the total number of tornadoes in each county in Missouri from 1950 to 2022, according to the NOAA. 
Tornadoes in Missouri over the last 25 years
Since 1997, Missouri has averaged 56 tornadoes each year, according to data from the NOAA. 
Here’s a breakdown of how many twisters touched down in the Show-Me State over the last 25 years.
Average number of tornadoes per month in Missouri
The month of May sees the most tornadoes in Missouri, followed by April then June. The month of August sees the least amount of tornadoes.
Here’s the average number of tornadoes per month in Missouri between 1989 and 2013, according to the NWS. 
Does home insurance in Missouri cover tornado damage?
Homeowners insurance in Missouri 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.
Where in Missouri is Tornado Alley?
Missouri isn't a part of the traditional Tornado Alley, which refers to the region in the United States where tornadoes occur most frequently, which includes West and North Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and parts of Colorado and New Mexico.
However, climatologists have since seen a shift in tornadoes to the Southeast and identified what they call the new Tornado Alley that consists of Eastern Texas and Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and parts of Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.
How to prepare for tornado season in Missouri
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 Missouri.
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 — doing this could actually result in a discount on your home insurance premiums.
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 pack 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 Missouri at high risk for tornadoes, knowing what to look for during a severe weather storm 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, a few cities in Missouri including St. Louis and Columbia 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.