Preliminary data: Big increase in Kansas tornadoes in 2015

The National Weather Service says its preliminary data shows Kansas had 124 confirmed tornadoes in 2015 – 83 more than in 2014.

The Hutchinson News reports ( the number of tornadoes last year tied for the fourth highest number since 1990.

Eric Metzger, a meteorologist in Wichita, Kansas, says moisture from a strong El Nino was a possible factor in 2015’s higher number of tornadoes.

Metzger said that while 124 tornadoes are above normal, Kansas experiences between 70 and 110 tornadoes every year.

The 2015 preliminary data is subject to changes, and official statistics will be released in six or eight months.

Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News,