State climatologist Jim Angel is informally referring to this as a tornado drought. We had 39 tornadoes in Illinois last year, 76 in 2011, 52 in 2010, and so far this year just 20, with no deaths or serious injuries.
“You always have to be careful when you say that because we’re talking about the number of tornadoes, but all it takes is one really bad day, and it can turn things around in a hurry,” he said.
The tornado season is typically the second half of winter through the spring, though they do happen at other times of year. Angel says this tornado drought has been national; it’s not just Illinois being lucky.