All Weather News

Silver Lining: Cold Weather Suppressing Severe Weather

lightning 2

Winter still isn’t technically over yet (it ends on March 20th with the Spring Equinox), but this is typically the time of year when tornado season starts ramping up, particularly across the South.

This week marks the anniversary of several major tornado outbreaks, including the killer March 2nd and 3rd, 2012 tornadoes that killed 41 people in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, and the March 3rd, 1966 tornado that killed 58 people in Mississippi, the state’s second-deadliest recorded tornado, just to name a few.

But continuing a fortunate trend dating back to last year, the start of 2015 has been eerily quiet in regards to severe weather. Only a small handful of tornado watches (four) had been issued through late Wednesday night, and only a small fraction of the average amount of twisters had fallen from the sky in the year’s early goings. Only 28 tornadoes occurred in January and February, far below the three-year average of 99 for the two months combined.

The reason for that has been the continual dumping of bitterly cold Arctic air from Canada, including this evening’s snow and ice storm across much of the South and extending into the East Coast. Massive areas of cold high pressure have stifled the typical surges of warmer air that typically start to pop up along the Gulf Coast states in early March, leading to the clashing of air masses that often lead to violent severe outbreaks typical of Spring. But the uniformly cold air has kept things mostly calm.

Of course, the heart of severe weather season typically comes in April and May, so we’ve got plenty of time to go. But the colder-than-average temperatures across most of the eastern two-thirds of the country might not feel good when you step outside, however, the lack of severe weather is a notable silver lining.

Short-term, the picture looks calm severe weather-wise, with no outbreaks expected through the weekend. Be sure to stay tuned to and WeatherNation TV (channel 361 on DirecTV and/or an affiliate near you) through the upcoming severe weather season and for all your weather needs!

Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *