It’s been almost five years since the last catastrophic EF5 tornado struck the United States, occurring in Moore, Oklahoma, on May 20, 2013.
Tornadoes assigned an EF5/F5 rating have historically been rare, but when they do strike, the damage in the affected communities is devastating.
Since 1950, a total of 59 tornadoes have been rated EF5/F5, an average of less than one per year, according to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center. The frequency has ranged from several tornadoes rated this magnitude in a single year to multi-year periods with none.
This May 20 could mark just the second time dating to 1950 the U.S. has gone five years or longer with no twisters rated EF5/F5. The record is an eight-year period from May 3, 1999 (Moore/Bridge Creek, Oklahoma) to May, 4, 2007 (Greensburg, Kansas).