SEVERE, SEVERE WEATHER 2024
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SEVERE, SEVERE WEATHER SEASON IN 2024
I was contemplating the fact that it won't be long before thunderstorms and the arrival of severe weather season here in the Midwest. That last two years brought an early start to the action, with violent early season tornado outbreaks that occurred in March.
In 2022 a powerful EF 4 multi-vortex tornado with 170 mph winds killed seven near Winterset Iowa. Here's the 1/2 mile storm as it grazed Winterset, Iowa.
Last year, a potent severe weather outbreak March 31st produced 29 tornadoes in the Davenport NWS service area, a record for an individual day there. A first of its kind for March, high risk assessment of tornadoes was issued for eastern Iowa by the Storm Prediction Center.
That was followed by a high risk PDS (particularly dangerous situation) tornado watch. Around 4:12pm. A 35 minute EF4 twister with winds again of 170 mph touched down near Keota and Wellman.
While I have no idea when this year's season will kick in, a key ingredient shaping tornado set-ups appears to be in play. That is the transformation that is taking place from an El Niño to La Niña. Note how quickly the transformation is taking place from cold to warm water in the tropical Pacific.
With the warmer waters returning, that tends to drive a strong west to east jet stream with a strong baroclinic boundary between cold air north and warm moist air south. Not only does this drive storms and instability, the westerly component of the jet enhances shear, which is the catalyst for supercells. Many of the worst tornado years nationally involve El Niño driven outbreaks. We never know more than a few days ahead of time where they will set up geographically, but we do know, El Niño's during spring often produce the foundation of big severe weather seasons. Peak season locally is April through June. Prime time is late May through early June.
I'll let you get back to your weekend. This mild weather pattern has me thinking of spring! Roll weather...TS PS Due to my recent health issues, I'm in need of your donation to the site more than ever. If you use it and find value in it, please consider a donation. Thanks to you who have already made a contribution!