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This Past May Is The First Since 2005 Without A Tornado Fatality

Storm clouds pass over the devastated Greenbriar Nursing Home in Joplin, Mo. on May 25, 2011. Eleven residents of the facility died when an EF-5 tornado tore through much of the city. Charlie Riedel/AP hide caption

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Charlie Riedel/AP

Storm clouds pass over the devastated Greenbriar Nursing Home in Joplin, Mo. on May 25, 2011. Eleven residents of the facility died when an EF-5 tornado tore through much of the city.

Charlie Riedel/AP

This tweet from Justin Kenney, of the Pew Environment Group, caught our attention:

"This was the first May without a #tornado fatality in US since 2005"

And, indeed, it's a bit of sunshine in all the bad weather news we tend to bring you. For the most part May is usually very deadly when it comes to tornadoes. In 2011, according to the National Weather Service, 178 people died in May. That was the May that saw the EF-5 tornado in Joplin, Mo. In 2010, 7 did. In 2009, 5 Americans perished.

And it all makes sense: Looking at historical data from 1991 to 2010, May has been the most active month of the year for tornadoes. Look at this chart:

NOAA chart showing average number of tornadoes per month. NOAA hide caption

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NOAA