Since 1954 Delaware has had 62 documented tornadoes. The most recent data goes up to 2015. This is roughly one a year. The Fujita scale, the measured strength of a tornado on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the worst, most of Delaware’s tornadoes have been F-2’s. There has been one F-3 recorded. That was April 1961 near New Castle Airport. There have been only 3 deaths reported in that time frame as well. And most of the Tornadoes were below Dover and points south. That makes sense since Delaware is a coastal plain with more than 90% of the state is flat. The northern part is the Piedmont which has seen fewer tornadoes in this time period. There have also been lots of F-0 which is to say they probably were tornadoes but didn’t do much of any damage and weren’t on the ground for that long of a period.

The conditions are ripe though for the state to experience tornadoes yet since our topography is varied with urban, rural, suburban areas. There is a difference between a storm that has straight line winds versus a storm that can spawn tornadoes.  The damage that tornadoes can do to an area are quite obvious. Straight line winds often damage a specific area and take a more direct path. Tornadoes are notorious of hitting one area and leaving another area totally less impacted.  There is a brilliant report called the Delaware Project: Tornadoes to read more I’m posting the link:

Tornado History Project Delaware


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