Severe Weather Outlook: May 7 - June 7, 2013
May 9, 2013

Severe Weather Outlook: May 7 – June 7, 2013

This year has been cold and many places have been dealing with below normal temperatures. This has done a couple things to the severe weather season early. First, looking at the map I will talk about how Zone 1 has been impacted by this colder than normal spring. Zone 1 usually has severe weather season in the late winter and early spring; however, because of the prolonged cold weather, zone 1 has been dealing with severe weather all the way into May this year. That is not normally common for this zone.  However, with the colder air in place it has forced the frontal systems this far south impacting the Zone 1 region. The outlook for the next month will finally have Zone 1 dropping in severe weather; there still may be a few possible severe weather days, but should dramatically decrease from what we have been seeing.

Image Credit: Joshua Kelly

Image Credit: Joshua Kelly

Now as we look into Zone 2, which most people are familiar with as being tornado alley, this cold spring has put a damper on this region as well, instead of getting tornadoes, this zone has been dealing with record setting cold and snowfall all through April. This has put the severe weather season about 3-5 weeks behind schedule this year. Don’t fear though, good news for storm lovers. This region looks to start picking up over the next couple of weeks, with multiple chances of severe weather moving into the region. So, for all that had been waiting, it’s coming.

As for Zone 3, the northern part of tornado alley, this region usually doesn’t start to get active until late May and early June; there looks to be no delays in this region this year. The storms should start to fire up towards the end of the month and start becoming severe over the region. This should also carry into part of June, as well. So, the cold actually had no impact on the severe weather for this region, due to its late proximity to severe weather anyways.

So, as the Arctic Ocean continued to get warmer this past year, the jet stream started to migrate well north into Alaska and then over and down over the plains. This led to the large cold weather of March and May for this region. Now that we are moderating the temperatures finally, this track pattern of the Jet stream has not shifted much at all, and it looks like for the next month or so this type of pattern could bring repeat weather patterns to the US, especially to the Plains region. What does that mean? That means the severe weather will follow this pattern, so expect to see that increase in severe weather to start taking place this month.

Will this pattern continue? This type of pattern may continue into mid-June; however, after that things should change for the United States. Now, if we want to look into next winter we may see the same things setup again next year for all three zones, just like what happened this year. So, as you plan your life around this severe weather now is the time to prepare for this year’s severe weather and also keep that in the back of your head that next year may be delayed for some and extended for others again.

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