Severe weather season may be off to slow start

Harsh winter putting the brakes on severe weather

Spring is having a difficult time shaking the winter temperatures, and because of that, severe weather will likely be lagging as well.

Severe weather season usually begins in March in the south central plains. States such as Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas are usually the first to see big severe weather outbreaks. The area for severe weather slowly expands as things continue to warm up in April, May and June.

In order for severe weather to develop, the atmosphere needs warm, moist air. And so far, this winter has prevented either of those from reaching the plains states or anywhere else in the eastern half of the country.

That’s not to say the nation hasn’t seen any severe weather this year. According to the latest update March 10 from the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center, there have been 746 severe weather reports, 49 of which were tornadoes. More than half of those occurred Feb. 20-23 when a strong cold front moved across the Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic states and Florida.

This same trend will likely continue through March and April with an occasional outbreak here and there. By May and June, models show a change in the overall pattern, which will allow the warm, moist air that severe thunderstorms need to make its way into the southern plains and then eventually into the Midwest, Southeast and East Coast. At that time, it’ll just be a matter of whether or not all the other ingredients can come together for any big severe weather outbreaks.

Follow Storm Shield Meteorologist Jason Meyers via the Storm Shield app on twitter, @StormShieldApp and Facebook. Download the Storm Shield Weather Radio App for your iPhone or Android device and get severe weather alerts wherever you are.

Print this article Back to Top