Illinois among top 5 states with the most tornadoes in 2015


By Kevin Hoffman, Reboot Illinois

Illinois saw a significant increase in tornado activity in 2015, ending the year with the fourth-most twisters of all 50 states, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center.

Preliminary statistics show 69 tornadoes hit Illinois, above the 25-year average of 53 and a big spike from the 35 reported in 2014. One of those storms, an EF-4 tornado that devastated the small town of Fairdale and parts of Rochelle in northern Illinois on April 9, was responsible for the state’s only two fatalities in 2015.


Illinois was one of 10 states that saw above normal tornado activity compared to the 25-year average, which the National Weather Services refers to as “departures.” 

Here are the top five states with the most twisters in 2015 along with the number of departures.

5. Iowa saw 58 tornadoes and eight departures.

4. Illinois saw 69 tornadoes and 16 departures.

3. Oklahoma saw 110 tornadoes and 48 departures.

2. Kansas saw 125 tornadoes and 34 departures.

1. Texas saw 239 tornadoes and 95 departures.


Nationwide, there were a total of 1,152 tornadoes, though the vast majority — 93 percent — registered as either an EF-0 or EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration classifies EF-4 and EF-5 as violent tornadoes.

The storm that swept through Fairdale last April was one of only three confirmed EF-4 tornadoes to touch down in the U.S.


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