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U.S. saw fewest April tornadoes since 2000

• by Matthew Cappucci

A preliminary count suggests only 73 tornadoes touched down throughout the month, coming at a time when tornado activity is usually ramping up as the spring severe weather season approaches its peak.

The 73 tornadoes that touched down make up less than half the April average of 155 that ordinarily swirl through the Plains, South and Southeast.

Meteorologists only received half as many severe weather reports as is typical, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.

Severe weather threatens millions in Plains and South after damaging tornadoes in Mississippi, Georgia

The quiet month marked a major contrast from last April when some 271 tornadoes were logged, the second most on record. Only April 2011, which featured an unprecedented 757 tornadoes, had more. They included those during the infamous April 27, 2011, outbreak, part of a multiday stretch with 358 tornadoes, the largest outbreak in recorded history.