Kansas tops all states in 2008 tornadoes

Jan. 18, 2009 at 11:47 AM
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WICHITA, Kan., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Kansas suffered through 187 tornadoes in 2008, making the state the top tornado locale in the United States for a second straight year, a meteorologist says.

While official 2008 numbers have yet to be determined, an initial count of the destructive events has Kansas far surpassing Texas in second place with 116 tornadoes, The Wichita (Kansas) Eagle said Sunday.

Meteorologist Merril Teller said the prevalence of tornadoes in the central state may have been due to recurrent weather systems during 2008.

"Sometimes you get into a particular weather pattern where ... although one system will move on, it's set up properly for another system to do virtually the same thing," Teller said.

Meteorologist Dave Freeman agreed Kansas, which topped the nation in 2007 with 137 tornadoes, saw an extraordinary amount of tornadoes, especially around Memorial Day weekend 2008.

"Memorial weekend was nothing short of phenomenal," Freeman said, referring to the 412 tornado and thunderstorm warnings in Kansas around the holiday. "I've never seen anything quite like it."

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