Suchan Says: More Rain & Severe Weather Season

With a gentle soaking rain much of the day, there simply was no concern for severe weather.  This gave me the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time talking about tornado safety and having a plan before we move into the “peak” of severe weather season which is May into a good chunk of June.

Tonight, I talked about my spring severe weather season expectations ahead.  Keep in the mind the season started early with a tornado watch and severe thunderstorm watch weeks ago getting things started.  But up to this point, the bulk of the severe weather has been to the south or out to the west.

Putting together a severe weather season forecast is a different animal from a hurricane season forecast or even a winter season forecast.  You can’t assign cold hard numbers like is done in hurricane season.  You can’t forecast 10 to 14 tornadoes like you would the number of hurricanes expected in the Atlantic hurricane basin.  That said, you can have a general idea of whether it will be a tame year like 2012 or an unusually busy year like 2003.

I looked back over recent El Nino years where we were backing out of El Nino into a neutral phase as analog years.  Of all these years I looked at, I did lean toward spring of 2007 as my preferred year given similarities I’ve found to this point in overall upper air pattern, used climate modeling and relatively “short term” teleconnections into early May.

Here are charts I used in the 10pm report showing this past winter with El Nino’s influence on early season severe weather to where things stand now and what’s ahead.


El Nino over the winter into early spring has been a dominate player with the large scale pattern across the country


Early year severe weather across southern tier of the country with El Nino


Annual “preliminary” tornado count is lower than annual trend currently DESPITE the year season spikes from El Nino in first few months of the year


El Nino dominate factor in early growing season and earlier start to severe weather season


Severe weather zone will shift north next 1 to 2 months with storm track. Ongoing bouts of major flooding still to our south… but need to monitor in our area as well in coming month


For rest of spring, my expectations on days of severe weather, temperatures and rainfall

As for our forecast Tuesday, a drier day is in the forecast with more breaks of sun likely.  There will still be a risk for a few early day sprinkles and a few late day showers or t-storms.  Rain chances increase quite a bit into Tuesday night through the first half of the day Wednesday with another .25″ to .75″ rain possible on top of what we saw Monday.

Highs Tuesday from the upper 60s to lower 70s.


Stray morning sprinkle with patchy clouds


Partly sunny with slight rain chance


Late day rain chance slowly increases

Chris Suchan
Chief Meteorologist

Twitter:  @ChrisSuchanKCTV




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