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Here we are in Mid-May, entering the peak of the tornado season and so far we've hardly seen a spring thunderstorm, let alone a severe one. The lack of activity is tied to two key factors, moisture and cold air.

Strong thunderstorms thrive on instability. Warm air and moisture provide that fuel and so far that combination has been non-existent and so has the severe weather season. These are the temperature departures over the past 120 days which bares out the fact warm air has been missing from the severe weather equation over tornado alley.

These are the tornado watches issued so far this year.

Compare that to those of last year, also a fairly quiet year from Iowa west. This severe weather "drought" has been going on for a couple of seasons over the traditional tornado belt of the central U.S.

At this point in the year, 2021 tornado levels nationally are only 25 percent of normal and not far above the all-time minimum.

Next week temperatures and moisture levels are expected to rise and that eventually will increase the chances for scattered thunderstorms. Whether they can reach strong levels is another question? I haven't seen anything that's impressed me yet. However, late May and June usually bring plenty of opportunity so the door is still open to severe storms. I've seen numerous single day outbreaks that can bring up to 25-30 twisters. All it takes is one day for a quiet season to turn into a destructive one. Let's hope not. Roll weather...TS


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