December tornadoes are not unheard of in Kansas. The Sunflower State has logged tornadoes in every month of the year, after all.
But it’s fair to say they’re pretty uncommon.
Sunday’s tornado in Harper County is the first time since Dec. 18, 2002, that the Wichita branch of the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning in December. And it’s the only other December warning issued by the Wichita branch since at least 1986.
Three tornadoes have been reported in December between 1980 and 2009 in Kansas, according to weather service records.
Two of those tornadoes touched down in Cherokee County in 2002, according to data sent by state climatologist Mary Knapp. Tornadoes also touched down on Dec. 4, 1956, in Kingman County; Dec. 26, 1959, in Dickinson County; Dec. 13, 1975, in Nemaha County; and Dec. 1, 1982, in Crawford County.
One person was hurt by the 1956 tornado.