Already, a top-10 tornado season

  • Updated: May 23, 2011 - 9:38 PM

Sunday's fatal outbreak of tornados in Joplin, Mo., and Minneapolis make it likely that 2011 will become the deadliest year for twisters since at least 1953. Here are the 10 worst years for tornado fatalities going back to 1875:

1. 1925 794

2. 1936 552

3. 1917 551

4. 1927 540

5. 1896 537

6. 1953 519

7. 1920 499

8. 2011 481*

9. 1908 477

10. 1909 404

* -- Preliminary count, based on 118 deaths from Sunday's storms and deaths attributed to the April 27 tornados that racked Alabama and other southern states.

Source: Harold Brooks, research meteorologist, National Severe Storms Center, Norman, Okla. The National Weather Service began formally archiving tornado data in 1950; earlier totals are based on various historical accounts.

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