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How rare are January tornadoes?

Published: Monday, January 13, 2020 @ 7:56 AM

January is month most associated with snow. How often do we actually see tornadoes in one of the coldest months?

Fewer than 10 tornadoes have hit Ohio in January since 1950 and only a handful have touched down in the Miami Valley, records show.

Two EFO tornadoes were confirmed in Miami County Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Before the ones that hit Troy and Fletcher, only seven were recorded in the Buckeye State in January in the past 70 years, according to the Tornado History Project.

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The two that brought winds of up to 80 miles per hour through Miami County Saturday night were among four to hit the Miami Valley since the first January twister was recorded in Ohio on Jan. 3, 1950 in Van Wert County, according to WHIO StormCenter7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

They include:

•Jan. 13, 1976, Clark County;

•Jan. 29, 2008, Preble County;

•Jan. 11, 2020, Miami County;

•Jan. 11, 2020, Miami County.

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The Miami Valley includes Auglaize, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby and Warren counties, Zontini said.

“We often think of snow in January, but tornadoes can arrive in the winter months, too,” according to WHIO StormCenter7 Meteorologist Jesse Maag. ” Thankfully, it is quite uncommon.

“In fact, the entire state of Ohio only sees an average of 0.1 tornadoes each year in January,” he added. “An easier way to digest that number is to multiply it by 10. So, every 10 years we only see an average of 1 tornado in the entire state.”

On Jan. 9, a tornado struck northeast Ohio, according to the National Weather Service. The tornado was photographed near Bazetta Twp., about 50 miles east-southeast of downtown Cleveland.