Severe Weather Drought and Thoughts on the Summer

April 24th, 2013 at 1:12 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Tornado trends   Tornado trends 2  Click on the graphics to enlarge.  So far this year, we’ve had relatively few tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the U.S.  Last year was also a slow year for tornadoes and storms, with the worst severe weather day in 2012 being March 2nd (a winter day).  This year it’s been too cold across much of the area east of the Rockies and we’ve seen more overrunning rain (warm air lifting over cold air in large areas, rather than concentrated convective storms).  Grand Rapids is up to 10.57″ of rain for the month, a new record for April.  I do think the severe weather season will get back closer to average from mid-May to July and like last year, I expect that there main concentration of severe weather will be east of the usual “tornado alley” in the Plains States.  They’ll get a few tornado days out there…but I’d be especially cautious in the from N. MS and N. AL north up thru Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.  You’ll see severe storms along the Ohio River down into Kentucky and Tennessee, back into E. Missouri and NE Arkansas.  I expect the mean ridge (core of the warm) for much of the summer to be over the eastern Rockies and east into KS, OK, and Texas.  The weak La Nina/cold PDO the pattern of drought in that area will continue.  I don’t think the mean ridge can fight it’s way into the Great Lakes very often this summer.  I expect temperatures this May-July to be cooler than last year by at least several degrees (Aug. was an average month last year).  We still have lots of snow and ice on the lakes from the U.P north into Canada and with a west-northwest flow aloft, we’ll continue to see cool shots into May and maybe even early June.  A fruit farmer told me back in February that we had to stay cool until April 15, then it could warm up.  I told him that we needed to keep it cool and keep the blossoms from coming out as long as we can.  With all that snow across Canada, we still have a chance of frost into mid-May.  I can see lots of days in the mid 70s to mid 80s this summer and significantly fewer days in the upper 80s and 90s.  I have mentioned before that I expect S. Michigan to be on the north edge of the main severe weather area this summer, with the greatest threat being thunderstorm wind damage and the greater threat to be toward the Indiana border.  Lake Michigan is cold and will be slow to warm up, so lake breezes will be prominent and chilly this May into early June.

47 Responses to “Severe Weather Drought and Thoughts on the Summer”

  1. Bobby (Ada) says:

    FIRST :) I’m can’t wait for the warm weather, but i’m glad that it won’t be the heat wave of last summer. Great for all the farmers too… they deserve it after what happened to them last year.

    1. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

      Still no guarantee that that area farmers will have a good year. We could have a cold, wet late spring and even summer. And I can see how we could see frost into late May and even June.
      SlimJim

    2. Steve Wood says:

      Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. I seem to remember a forecast for last summer that wasn’t quite correct…

  2. INDY says:

    Bill INDY is still on the likes of May 7-11th for some severe weather around here ..This week’nd should start till feel like summer around town…Stay tuned …INDYY…

    1. Jerry hoag says:

      Hey INDY why you thinking this time frame for severe weather????

  3. anemic says:

    Bill I think you are spot with cold lake temps & big breezes. I would not be surprised to see the big breeze carry right thru August this year, and possibly entirely bypass the lazy dog days of summer (normal August) when the lake temp = the air temp, killing any temperature gradient lake breezes and even synoptic events seem more rare. Instead I think we will have lake breeze across the lake and across the entire season, carrying right thru fall. Batten ‘em.

  4. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Moderate snow back in A2.

  5. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Flint and Saginaw have also set April rainfall records already.
    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=dtx&storyid=94220&source=0

    1. Zach says:

      Quit posting spam

      1. DF (SE Mich) says:

        That darn NWS spam… LOL

  6. Zach says:

    Pictures starting to surface of a possible tornado that struck New Orleans, LA earlier today

    http://t.co/51C6HCiYwE

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Nice try to hide your spam…

      1. Zach says:

        How is it spam… Bill comments often thanking me for my posts.

        1. DF (SE Mich) says:

          I complimented you, take it. No need to just inform people, they already know.

  7. Nathan says:

    Pretty nice area of rain to our east. Thankfully our weather should be a little warmer starting this Friday!

  8. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    It is now reported that in parts of the UP there is now the most snow on the ground this late into the spring season.

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=mqt&storyid=94151&source=0

    While is looks to warm up even there this weekend there should still be snow piles there into May.
    SlimJim

  9. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    My ideas on this summer are for it to be a lot cooler then the past two and it could very well much below average temp wise. Time will tell.
    SlimJim

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      I agree. It will be interesting to compare to the CPC 3 month outlook.
      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/lead01/off01_temp.gif

  10. haanstar says:

    I am curious to see what kind of difference the water level on Lake Michigan will be after the flooding goes down.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      A new lake level update from the Army Corps comes out Thursday evening, though I think the level is taken at Harbor Beach on Lake Huron, not on Lake Michigan.

  11. Swatz_Zoo(Cedar Springs) says:

    Oh yeah I’ll say it for Fixxxer, another repeat of 2009 and another boring inactive storm season for our area. *SIGH* It is what it is can’t do anything about it just keep on keeping on an appreciating the good days when we have them.

  12. The other big outbreak in 2012 was on 4/14/12 http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/120414_rpts.html

    A cold lake breeze sounds good to me. I am far enough inland that I could see lake breeze clouds, showers, and thunderstorms. One of my main goals for this year is to get some really good lake breeze thunderstorm time lapses. We’ll see how it plays out. I still think we may end up a hair warmer than average this summer, with more severe weather.

    1. Lisa (Caledonia) says:

      Nice to see you on the blog, Charles! :)

      1. Thanks, Lisa! I stop by every once in a while ;)

    2. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

      Charles your always on top of the storm!

      1. Thanks, Nathan! I try to do the best I can. Looking forward to getting more footage this year!

  13. mr. negative says:

    Those old enough to know better,…do. As previously stated, cold, wet, windy, and storm free through 2013.

  14. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    Bill, usted es el mejor meteorólogo siempre porque siempre estás corregir! (That may be wrong, but it is what I know… and more importantly, it fits you perfectly!!)

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Gracias, Nathan, se lo agradezco

      1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

        Haha, apuesto a que! Y fue agradable ver que en las noticias de hoy! (I didnt know you knew how to speak Espanol Mr. Steffen!

        1. Bill Steffen says:

          Estoy seguro de que las temperaturas llegarán a 22 º C

        2. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

          Y estoy seguro de que sea correcto!

  15. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    FANTASTIC NEWS! This summer more days in the 70′s and far fewer days in the 90′s. I love it! Keep the 60′s and 70′s rolling all Spring, Summer and Fall!!!!!!!

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      That would be nice.

    2. Rodey (Rockford) says:

      FANTASTIC NEWS. Many days in the mid 80′d this summer. I love it. Keep the mid’s 80′s rolling all summer long. Fantastic. Get used to it.

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Well it only took a few days for fixxxer to resurface. That is what most of figured would happen! He will just use alias names for a while!

        1. DF (SE Mich) says:

          Lol, just like every other time over the years.

  16. Jeff (Portland) says:

    Here’s a question.. With all the moisture we have had this spring, will that contribute to a more humid feel to the air this summer ?

    1. michael g (SE GR) says:

      Probably only as long as the near surface soil moisture is high. A sunny dry week ahead should largely take care of that.

      1. Jeff (Portland) says:

        Ya, was just thinking of that being possible. Thanks Michael.

  17. Jack says:

    Thoughts On Summer ….Hmmmmm……This Was My Favorite SUMMER , CUE:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f06QZCVUHg Lol ..Enjoy ! Bill…ROCKS !!!!!!

  18. Jack says:

    AWESOME…..Sunset….Today ! :-)

  19. kevin. w says:

    Ok finally got this song down and this is how I feel about the warmer weather coming and get shredin’~http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzamSJmUaRI

  20. kevin. w says:

    Your song is to mellow Jack try mine and got this song down pat now.

    1. Jack says:

      WOW!!!!!!! THANKS !!!!!!! Kevin….. Shredding…….INDEED ! Put it in My Favorites !!!!!! SWEDEN says….STAY CUED ! Also Great Back Drop, For Storm Chasing !!!!!! Peace……and Thanks Again ! ;-)

  21. mike[kalamazoo county] says:

    70′s-80′s with timely rains sounds good to me. corn likes high’s in the low 80′s and lows in the high 50′s. High nightime lows hurt the plant it needs to slow down on growth [rest] each night for peak yield.

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