Severe Weather Drought and Thoughts on the SummerApril 24th, 2013 at 1:12 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
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.