“Now I'm just waiting on the locusts. Hopefully, they don't come or we'll have to find a new place to live,” Fallin said.
Other weather events, such as flooding, tornadoes and Hurricane Irene have also affected other parts of the country. Schneider said the U.S., overall, saw major property loss throughout the year because of the weather events.
On average, tornadoes kill 80 people a year, Schneider said. This year the numbers increased significantly, and the nation had the most tornado fatalities since 1936, he said.
The only year to exceed the 2011 and 1936 fatality total was in 1925, when the tri-state tornado swept through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, killing 695 people in its path.
Schneider said officials plan to have follow-up meetings to discuss similar topics from the workshop and are working on research projects that might allow meteorologists to predict tornado activity further in advance.
“There's no way to predict what the coming year will bring,” Schneider said. “We wouldn't predict a similar year this year, but we can't rule that out at this point.”