Nation Sees Near Record Tornado Drought

According to NBC/Universal's The Weather Channel this March has seen very few confirmed tornadoes.

In fact this year the National Weather Service, through March 20th, has confirmed only four tornadoes.  This is great news but does not necessarily mean that it will be a quiet severe weather season.

For the month of March the average numbers of tornadoes that occur in the nation is 96.

There are still a few days of weather left in the month of March and severe weather could pop up in the southeast and Mississippi River Valley towards the end of the week.  But so far it's been very very quiet.

The less than normal tornadic weather is related to the extremely cold weather in the central and eastern United States.  The jet stream keeps digging deep across the eastern U.S. and this pattern prevents severe weather from occurring.

A pattern of a deep dip of the jet stream on the western side of the country and warm gulf air flowing across the southern plains and southeast is prime weather conditions for severe weather and tornadoes.

Both 2012 and 2013 began very slowly for tornadoes.  But that was not an indication of a weak season as both years saw powerful tornadoes and tornado outbreaks later in the season.

In 2013 the month of March had only 18 confirmed tornadoes.  But then later in the year the following was recorded:
  • May 19-20:  EF5 Tornado in Moore, OK
  • May 31:  EF3 in El Reno, OK

There have been two years when fewer than four tornadoes were recorded across the nation.  In 1969 there were zero recorded tornadoes and in 1951 there were three tornadoes.

The tornado drought in Texoma has lasted a while.  The National Weather Service in Norman says it was been (as of today, March 24, 2014) 297 days since they have issued a Tornado Warning, that is the longest stretch in the history of that weather service office.

As far as what the rest of the tornado season will bring to the nation or for that matter to Texoma remains to be seen.

KFDX Meteorologist Bryan Rupp

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