2011 set to be deadliest tornado year

(CNN) — The devastating tornado that killed more than 100 people in Missouri this week puts the United States on track for a record-breaking year — despite improved forecasting, warning systems and public awareness, weather experts say.

By 8 a.m. Tuesday, the death toll in Joplin had reached 117, making it the single deadliest tornado since the National Weather Service began keeping such records 61 years ago.

The tornado in Joplin brought the number of people who have died in U.S. tornadoes to 482. so far this year. The figure could escalate as rescue workers continue digging through rubble from Sunday’s tornado in Joplin, Missouri.

117 dead from Missouri tornado

The deadliest tornado year on record is 1925, which had 794 deaths, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The number of fatalities so far this year is more than eight times the average number for an entire year — 55, according to CNN meteorologist Chad Myers.

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Categories: United States

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