The yearly distribution of tornadoes is depicted above. No well-defined pattern is noted when analyzing Figure 5, although a broad cyclic maximum of tornadoes occurs about every 10 to 15 years. Also, several years of peak tornadic activity of 10 or more tornadoes are evident. An active year for tornadic activity occurred in 1985 , when 17 tornadoes were verified in the Huntsville CWA. This included several F2 and a few F3 tornadoes. This outbreak was caused by the interaction of Hurricane Danny with a frontal boundary over the southeast U.S. There are many other maximums including the infamous 1974 outbreak (most of these tornadoes were due to the April 3, Super Outbreak).
In 2006, the 32 tornadoes were verified, primarily F0 to F1 tornadoes, across the Huntsville WFO forecast area. 2008 was also a very active compared to the period between 1986 and 1996, with 26 tornadoes, of which two were EF-4's and three were EF-2's. This is the third highest tornado total for one year, falling behind only the 04/27/2011 and 04/03/1974 outbreaks. Tornado activity overall has dropped this year, but the tornadoes that occurred remained strong. Tornado activity in 2010 started out early in January with one F2 tornado that affected the metropolitan area of Five Points in Huntsville. Through the April o 2010, WFO Huntsville has had one tornado somewhere in the forecast area every month except February. Our biggest event happened on 04/24/2010, when 4 tornadoes occurred in northeastern Alabama. In all, 2 EF3's, 1 EF4 (long track), and 1 EF2 comprised this event. The largest tornado outbreak since the 1974 SuperOutbreak occurred in April 22, 2007, when 40 tornadoes were reported, many of which were strong to violent tornadoes (EF3-EF5's). Some weaker tornadoes even occurred in February and May of 2011 as well.
The year of 2011 was the busiest tornado season on record with 50 confirmed tornado tracks that affected the Huntsville Forecast Area. Most of these tornadoes (39), including 3 EF-5 and 4 EF-4 tornadoes, occurred during the 04/27/2011 outbreak. In comparison during the April 4, 1974 Superoutbreak, 3 EF-5 and 3 EF-4 tornadoes occurred. Most of the rest of these tornadoes occurred on May 25-26th, 2011 (7), although a few more occurred in February and May.