It Only Takes One
More than 1/2 through the primary severe weather season and it has been relatively quiet. However, I want to remind you, IT ONLY TAKES ONE!
As of Tuesday, April 16th, only 6 tornado warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service office in North Little Rock this year. Look at 2014! By this time, only 4 tornado warnings and we all remember what happened late that month. I'm not saying that's going to happen, but it's a reminder that it only takes one to change everything.
The near term outlook for severe thunderstorms looks quiet with the exception of tonight into early Thursday (April 18th). That leaves us with the very end of April and May for our primary severe weather season.
Severe weather can happen anytime of the year, but once we get into June, the jet stream usually goes north and we deal with summertime thunderstorms. The main danger from those are heavy rain, lightning, and gusty winds. Again, you can never rule out tornadoes in the summer months.
Our 2 biggest tornado outbreaks were outside of meteorological spring. January 21st 1999 was our biggest, then June 5th 1916 the 2nd largest.
According to modern tornado history (since 1950), April has the most tornadoes, then May. Look at the sharp drop-off in the summer months. The number goes up in fall mostly due to remnant tropical systems. The number jumps a bit more by November into December. That's considered our secondary tornado season as the jet goes south and winter settles into the area.
While the number of tornadoes is low so far this spring, it only takes one to change our perspective. Sadly, we were reminded of that in April 2014.