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May 2021 marked the first time in more than 70 years that the U.S. has not seen a tornado rated stronger than an EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale. 

The EF Scale is used to assign a tornado a "rating" based on estimated wind speeds and related damage.


In a Twitter announcement detailing the extent of severe weather during the month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wrote that May reports were "below normal," though tornado reports were near the 10-year average.

"May 2021 had the 8th fewest tornado watches since 1970," the agency said in a thread. 

"Thus far, only 8 EF2+ tornadoes have been confirmed in May 2021. If no additional significant tornadoes are added, this would be the 5th fewest May significant tornadoes in recorded history (1950-present)," it added.

NOAA data shows that the May average from 1991 to 2010 is 276 tornadoes and the 2011 to 2020 average is 272. In May 2021, the U.S. saw 289 preliminary tornado reports.

Conversely, severe weather reports were 720 reports below the 2011 to 2020 average: down to 2,756 from 3,476.


For the first time in seven years, the U.S. had no tornado fatalities in May – a relief for Gulf Coast and Southern states accustomed to unprecedented amounts of tornado activity.

May 2020 saw a record 13 straight days with at least eight or more tornado reports, according to AccuWeather.


The outlet also noted that while no EF5 tornadoes have been reported in the U.S. for more than eight years, some meteorologists believe tornadoes have been underrated by the National Weather Service.

As to the reasoning for why May saw such low-rated activity, AccuWeather cited high temperatures that have swept the country at the beginning of summer, highlighting that tornado numbers typically drop in the hotter months of the season.

Julia Musto is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find her on Twitter at @JuliaElenaMusto.

News Source: FOX News

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Vote now: Bay Area News Group girls athlete of the week

Welcome to the final Bay Area News Group (Mercury News & East Bay Times) girls athlete of the week poll of the 2021 spring sports season.

Each Monday for the past eight weeks, we have provided a list of candidates who stood out over the previous week and allowed you, the reader, to vote for the winner. With only a handful of student-athletes still competing, this week will be the season’s final athlete of the week poll. Submissions consider performances between June 7-13.

Polls close at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Vote as many times as you’d like until then.

MORE: Vote for Bay Area News Group boys athlete of the week

On to the nominees:

Isabelle Cairns, St. Francis track & field: Took first place in the CCS qualifying heats in the 400-meter and 800-meter dashes and also ran the final leg of the first-place 4×400-meter relay team.

Maia Garcia, Pinewood basketball: Posted a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) in Pinewood’s win over top-seeded defending champion Archbishop Mitty in the CCS Open final, after contributing 14 points and seven rebounds in the semifinal. Also took first place at the CCS track & field semifinals in the high jump.

Julia Hicks, San Benito track & field: Earned the top spot at the CCS track & field semifinals in shot put (37-10.25) and discuss (123-03).

Jaz Hsiao, St. Francis softball: Homered five times and drove in 10 runs over three games as the Lancers stormed through the CCS Open Division tournament en route to a championship win over Notre Dame-Salinas.

Lydian Li, Lynbrook basketball: Sank four clutch free throws in the final 30 seconds and scored a game-high 27 points in Lynbrook’s win over St. Francis for the CCS Division I championship.

Natalie Vo, Harker golf: Shot a 71 to take home the individual CCS trophy by a two-stroke margin over teammate Claire Chen, who finished second with a 73. Take Our Poll Past winners

May 31-June 6: Geriah Bradley, San Leandro

May 24-30: Mikayla Garrison, Heritage

May 17-23: Aunika Hornung, James Logan

May 10-16: Jamie Baum, Los Altos

May 3-9: Olivia Carlino, Archbishop Mitty

April 26-May 2: Ella Carlino, Archbishop Mitty

April 19-25: Avery Lee, Menlo School

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