Severe Weather in Delaware
Severe weather such as strong winds, hail, and tornadoes can have a devastating impact on a community.
In this section, information on severe weather including tornadoes, hail, and strong winds can be found. Basic information on when and where these events have occurred is included.
Strong winds, usually associated with severe thunderstorms, are the most common type of severe weather in Delaware. Strong wind events are greatly under-reported because they are only noticed if they happen to occur where winds are being measured, or if they cause damage to the built or natural environment.
Figure 1 details strong wind events in Delaware from 1955 to 2020. The large upward trend apparent in these data is misleading, as reporting practices have improved tremendously over the last several decades. Still, some years stand out such as 2016 when over 40 strong wind events were reported for Delaware.
Tornadoes are not common in Delaware; however, when they do occur they can cause serious property damage and threaten human lives. While we average only one tornado per year in Delaware, Figure 2 clearly demonstrates that some years are much more active. Some of those active years are the result of multiple events that occur on several different days. In other years, several tornadoes have occurred on just one day when atmospheric conditions were primed for severe thunderstorm development. Still, other days have seen several tornadoes with the passage of a tropical system, like that of Tropical Storm Isaias in August 2020.