It's been a really slow and unusual year for severe weather around the country. Oklahoma went until the beginning of May to log its first tornado, the latest ever to start a season. Remarkably, Oklahoma City has yet to be put under a tornado watch. In an average year, the city would have already experienced five or six tornado watches by early June, some years ten to twelve.
If you're wondering, a typical tornado watch persists for a maximum of six to eight hours. A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when the conditions are right for tornadoes to develop. A warning is issued when a tornado is on the ground or indicated by radar.
Oddly, Massachusetts and Vermont have been under tornado watches this year, beating out the sooner state which is notorious for its vicious twisters. But as it stands now, only four EF-3 tornadoes have touched down this year. Those that have occurred have been on the weaker end of the scale. The 382 tornadoes reported this year are about half the average and just above the all-time minimum of 328 in 2002
Here's some interesting tornado trivia for every state.
The overall tornado threat for the country continues to look meager as the heat of summer expands limiting the cold air intrusions that create the storms from March through May. Look at tornado probabilities at the peak of the season May 27th.
By July 15th the season is pretty much on its last legs and confined to the upper Midwest.
The weather focus this weekend shifts to the heat that's expected to build into the Midwest. A big dome of high pressure will build into the Ohio Valley allowing a strong push of very warm and humid air to overspread the central U.S. The EURO is several degrees warmer on high temperatures than the GFS. However, the GFS is more bullish on dew points so it has higher heat index values. For the most part it comes out a wash.
Father's Day features some of the most widespread heat with highs that look like this on the EURO. 100 degree highs are shown into southern Iowa. I'm not buying that yet but any way you slice it, it's going to be a sizzler.
Throw in the dew points in the low to mid 70s and you get heat index values over 100. Advisories are likely.
Wednesday, the heat is not a factor and actually a more comfortable day is anticipated with slightly cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Enjoy the pleasant conditions, they won't be around long. Roll weather...TS