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Tornado Season To-Date Remains Well Below Average

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Earlier on Tuesday, we outlined the quiet week of severe weather forecast into May’s first few days – a welcome relief after a consistently active April to-date.

That forecast could lump into an overall slow start severe weather-wise, and particularly tornado-wise, so far in 2015. Since January 1st, a total of 219 tornadoes (through Monday) had touched down, far below the typical year-to-date average of 468.

This is mostly due to an incredibly and record-breakingly slow first three months of the year. A total of just 41 tornadoes touched down in January, February and March, far below the typical 150+ tornado count more typical for the first quarter of the year. Through Monday, however, April had 173 tornadoes (according to the Storm Prediction Center), slightly above three-year averages for the same timespan.

The first three months of the year saw a quiet start to the severe season mostly due to a persistent pattern of unusually cool conditions east of the Rocky Mountains and a ridge of high pressure out west, preventing the formation of lows that would normally run into warmer air further east.

While the slow start is by and large good news, even within slower starts deadly tornadoes still occur, the largest of which was the April 9th EF-4 twister that destroyed Fairdale, Illinois, killing two people.

Let’s hope the slow start continues. But of course, if there is severe weather, be sure to keep it here at www.WeatherNationTV.com and WeatherNation TV for all the latest.

Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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