It's an unfortunate claim to fame, but Georgia now leads the nation in the number of confirmed tornadoes for 2017.
The data was confirmed by the National Weather Service center in Peachtree City, Ga.
So far in 2017, there have been 510 confirmed reports of tornadoes across the nation and 87 of them have been confirmed right here in Georgia. Texas comes in second on the list with 67 confirmed tornadoes. Missouri and Louisiana trail not to far behind with 60 and 52 confirmed tornadoes, respectively.
The number of tornadoes that have touched down this year is well above the state's average, which usually only sees about 30. According to data, there were 24 confirmed tornadoes in 2015 and 27 tornadoes in 2016. However, since Jan. 1, 2017, there have been 87 twisters, more than the previous two years combined. Making matters worse, there are still several weeks left in "tornado season," which usually lasts from March through May.
Georgia started off the year with more tornadoes than usual. In January, the National Weather service confirmed 40 tornadoes between the 21 and 22. That broke the previous record for tornadoes in January, which stood at 15 tornadoes for 1972. The January 2017 number is even more dramatic when you factor in the fact that there were only about 100 tornadoes total for all the Januaries from 1952 to 2013.
The Jan. 21 and 22 storms ravaged much of central Georgia, with the Albany area bearing the brunt of the damage. Photos from the aftermath of the storms showed trees uprooted, homes split in half and trucks crumpled and tossed about.
Because of all the tornadic activity, it means it's also been a deadly year for tornadoes. Since Jan. 1, nearly 30 people have died from storm-related injuries across the U.S. Sixteen of those deaths happened right here in Georgia. On average, data indicates about 70 people died each year from tornadoes across the nation, with only three deaths from Georgia.
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