Tornado season continues slower than normal

Severe weather season below average but picking up, HEAT WAVE COMING TO GEORGIA

I like the good news of not having a lot of destruction or death from tornadoes across the country so far this year.

In the Atlanta metro area our severe weather season has been quieter than normal thanks to our cool spells keeping the energy for storms to a minimum. We’ve only had a handful of severe weather days so far this season with the total number of watches and warnings likely fewer than normal. No reason to expect that to change for the foreseeable future locally.

TORNADO REPORTS IN THE NATION BELOW AVERAGE SO FAR THIS YEAR:

HAIL REPORTS ALSO BELOW AVERAGE SO FAR THIS YEAR:

SEVERE WIND GUSTS ALSO A LITTLE BELOW NORMAL:

I pointed out in my Spring Weather Outlook that the La Nina did not have a major impact on tornadoes in our region compared to El Nino or neutral conditions. The greatest impact is North and West of us. We have been in a weak La Nina and still are (Right panels tornadoes and hail):

Hence unlike others I did not predict a hyper active severe weather season for Spring for the country and especially not in Georgia, so far so good.

Research shows that when a La Nina from winter strengthens in the Spring it leads to an increase in tornado outbreaks in the Ohio Valley, Southeast, and Upper Midwest (left panel) with a surge of 57% in April. The record-breaking and deadly tornado events of 2011 occurred during a resurgent La Nina spring.

This year has been somewhat in-between the left and right panels below:

ENSO STATE EL NINO/LA NINA:

IRI FORECAST PLUME SHOWS NEAR-NEUTRAL ENSO THROUGH SUMMER:

The month of MARCH this year was very active with tornadoes more than double the average with 191 reported across the nation compared to the normal of 80.

Last month APRIL on the other hand the country experienced the fewest tornadoes since 2000. April also had the 4th fewest Tornado Watches on record.

We are quickly nearing the record for THE LONGEST PERIOD OF TIME WITHOUT A confirmed EF5. The current record to beat is a non EF5 streak from May 3rd 1999 to May 4th 2007. We need to make it past this Saturday May 22nd with none in the U.S. to break that record. Fingers crossed.

LOOKING AHEAD:

The configuration of the jet stream pattern forecast by the models will keep the severe weather and heavy rain away from Georgia for an extended period of time with the “Great Smokies” high pressure adding heat to dryness for an extended spell of above-normal temperatures with sudden summer and humidity on the rise:

7-DAY RAINFALL ESTIMATE:

NOAA/SPC SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK:

GFS Ensemble forecast analog guidance forecast 168-312 hours days 7-13 May 23-June 1st:

MULTI-MODEL ENSEMBLE TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE:

For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.

On vacation this week.

Kirk Mellish

Meteorologist

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