When is tornado season in Missouri in 2022?

Peak tornado season in Missouri falls during April, May, and June each year.

Jennifer Gimbel

By

Jennifer Gimbel

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

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.

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Missouri ranks no. 8 on our list of the top states with the most tornadoes — averaging 57 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. [1]

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.

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When is tornado season in Missouri?

Peak tornado season in Missouri runs April through June each year, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). [2] 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). [3]

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Tornadoes in Southwest Missouri

Newton, Jasper, Greene, and Barry counties — home to Joplin, Neosho, Springfield, and Monett — saw 200 twisters in total from 1950 to 2021.

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Tornadoes in Southeast Missouri

Cape Girardeau, Scott, Stoddard, and Butler counties — home to Jackson, Sikeston, Dexter, and Poplar Bluff — saw 170 twisters in total during that same time period.

Tornadoes by county in Missouri

Here’s a complete look at the total number of tornadoes in each county in Missouri from 1950 to 2021, according to the NOAA. [4]

Tornadoes in Missouri over the last 25 years

Since 1996, Missouri has averaged 56 tornadoes each year, according to data from the NOAA. [5]  

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. [6]

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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.

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. [7] 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. 

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Frequently asked questions

What month does Missouri get tornadoes?

Missouri residents can experience tornadoes every month of the year, though the majority of twisters occur in May, April, and June.

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.

What part of Missouri gets the most tornadoes?

Newton, Jasper, and Greene counties in southwest Missorui — home to Joplin, Neosho, and Springfield — see the most tornadoes each year, totaling 153 twisters from 1950 to 2021.

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 our

editorial standards.
  1. Spectrum News

    . "

    Technically not part of "tornado alley," Missouri ranks in top ten for most tornadoes per year

    ." Accessed August 04, 2022.

  2. National Weather Service

    . "

    Months of Peak Tornado Occurrence

    ." Accessed August 04, 2022.

  3. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    . "

    Storm Events Database

    ." Accessed August 04, 2022.

  4. Springfield News-Leader

    . "

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Tornadoes in Missouri 2022

    ." Accessed August 04, 2022.

  5. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

    . "

    25-Year Average Number of Tornadoes per State by Month (All tornadoes, 1989-2013)

    ." Accessed August 04, 2022.

  6. Federal Emergency Management Agency

    . "

    How to Build a Kit for Emergencies

    ." Accessed August 04, 2022.

Author

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

Jennifer Gimbel

Senior Managing Editor & Home Insurance Expert

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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.

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