Thursday, April 1, 2010

More tornadoes than normal this spring?

Image of funnel cloud north of Wolfchase area courtesy Dennis K. Russell

A couple of recent blog posts by Jesse Ferrell of Weather Underground and Paul Yeager of AOLNews and have discussed the expected uptick in severe weather, specifically tornadoes, as we head into the heart of spring when cool, dry air collides with warm, moist air. Though the first three months of the year have been decidedly weak statistically (tell that to the folks in North Carolina and elsewhere where tornadoes have occurred in 2010), both expect that to change in April and May. The lower than average tornado count so far could be a factor of the El Nino pattern, which has brought cooler than normal conditions to typically tornado prone areas so far in 2010, among other things. Though the spring months are typically active for severe weather, both bloggers mention the likelihood of the waning El Nino pattern as a factor in the likelihood of increased severe weather and tornadoes as spring turns to early summer.

In fact, Accuweather has issued a "Tornado Season 2010" forecast, which Ferrell discussed in his blog, that indicates a heightened risk of the most severe of storms for the Mid-South region. The graphical portion of the forecast is shown below and was created by Accuweather meteorologists. It depicts the expected storm track and areas where a heightened risk is forecast, which includes the Ohio Valley, Midwest, Mid-South, and interior southeast states.

2010 Tornado Forecast - Accuweather

We'll certainly keep an eye out for severe weather possibilities at and let you know when the threat is elevated via the website, this blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

By the way, if you haven't yet checked out Yeager's new book, Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities, you should. As I stated in my full review:

[Weather Whys will] appeal to folks across the spectrum – from the seasoned weather professional, to the weather enthusiast, to one with even a passing interest in the weather. [Yeager's] folksy story-telling tone, a broad knowledge in an array of atmospheric topics, and the ability to explain complex processes in a way that an average middle school student could understand, have come together in Weather Whys to produce a text that is not only information and educational, but entertaining from cover to cover.

You can find a nice discount on the book on Amazon by clicking here.

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