January 2014 may close with a below average tornado count.
Over the last 10 years, NOAA statistics show an average of 39 tornadoes occurred during the month of January. So far this year, only 4 tornadoes have been recorded. (Preliminary Storm Prediction Center data).
Barring a major event in the next week (currently not forecast), the low count will hold. Leo Fabi, a severe weather expert at disastersurvival.org says the unusually cold Arctic air gripping much of the nation may be partially to blame. "You need contrasting warm and cold air masses to generate the big thunderstorms and we simply don't have that set-up."
Low tornado counts in January do not always mean the springtime tornado season will be quiet. In fact, statistics sometimes hint just the opposite. In January of 2003 no tornadoes were officially recorded in the US. But in May of that year, a whooping 244 tornadoes were recorded in May marking the 4th highest May count in 13 years.