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Severe weather records broken in 2014

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Posted at 11:08 AM, Dec 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-30 16:03:13-05

For fans of severe weather, 2014 has been a dud.

With less than three weeks left in the year, 2014 may possibly be considered one of the least active years on record according to the Storm Prediction Center.

The SPC is responsible for issuing severe thunderstorm and tornado watches for the entire country all year long.

Since it’s the only party responsible for issuing these watches, it keeps pretty good stats on the number of watches and the locations across the country.

In looking back at the number of watches per county for most of the year, it's pretty clear, most of the watches this year showed up in eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri.

That's the middle of the country, the Plains and the Midwest, seeing the most active weather.

This comes as no surprise since this is also commonly referred to as tornado alley.

But what does come as a surprise is comparing the same number of watches this year to past years.

The above map shows how this year stacked up to years past. The counties in blue saw fewer watches than normal and the counties in red saw more watches than normal.

The country is mostly blue. Only eastern Colorado and eastern New Mexico had a noticeably more active year than the rest of the country.

This means barring any catastrophic, nationwide tornado outbreak in the last weeks of the year (for which the chances are almost nonexistent), 2014 will likely go down in history as the quietest year since tracking began in the 1950s, while 2013 and 2012 are in a close second and third place.