Kansas: The quiet start of tornado season might not last

Mar 19, 2014

Credit city-data.com

Tornado season has begun, and it’s off to a pretty quiet start, but weather officials say that won’t last according to a recent article in the Wichita Eagle.

The slow beginning is due to the arctic blasts that have plunged deep into the southern United States cooling the Gulf of Mexico says Paul Pastelok, head of long-range forecasting for AccuWeather. 

“We’re off to a slow start here in March,” said Pastelok.  At some point, he said, “you have to pay for it.”

Warm, moist air from the Gulf is vital in the formation of thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center indicate there have been 49 tornadoes this year in the U.S.  That’s the lowers number in ten years.

Larry Ruthi, meteorologist, heads the National Weather Service in Dodge City, Kansas. 

“I wouldn’t even want to guess” how many tornadoes will strike Kansas this year, he said. “We really have little skill in forecasting tornado seasons.”

Pieces have to fall together just right for tornadoes to develop.  Many times you can have all the right parts, and tornadoes never touch now, the next time it seems unlikely one will develop, and yet, it occurs.

Nevertheless, “we’re due” for an active tornado season, Ruthi said.