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How common are tornadoes in the DMV?

Tornadoes can strike anywhere in our region

WASHINGTON — Tornadoes are a big part of severe weather in our region. They can strike anytime of the year and almost any time of day.

Just how common are tornadoes in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia?

On average we see about 30 tornadoes in our region every year. Virginia has about 18 tornadoes a year, Maryland sees an average of 10 tornadoes, while West Virginia clocks in with 2 tornadoes annually.

Most years are hardly average, however. Tornadoes tend to come in clusters depending on the weather pattern and the season. May through July tend to be active months due to spring and summer thunderstorms. Late summer and early autumn can bring tropical systems to our region, which also causes tornadoes.

Credit: WUSA 9
Average number of tornadoes for our region every year

In 2020 Maryland has a banner year, with 19 reported tornadoes, including a couple of rare winter season tornadoes. Meanwhile, Virginia’s 2020 was less than average with a report of 14 tornadoes. West Virginia had no known tornado touchdowns in 2020.

Because of the small size of the District, tornadoes are uncommon in D.C. The last tornado strike in D.C. was in 2017.

Knowing that tornadoes can strike anywhere in our region, it’s important to have a plan and stay informed for when severe weather strikes.

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