WHEN THE BEAR WAKES IT WILL BE HUNGRY...
With the dominance of cool temperatures and dry air instability has been essentially non-existent this year. As a result, so has severe weather and thunderstorms. So far the NWS in Des Moines has not issued a single tornado warning and only 3 severe thunderstorm warnings in 2021. That easily breaks the previous record of 9 such warnings through May 5th set in 1987, 1988, and 1993. Below you can compare where we stood May 5th to all years going back to 1986.
This is an incredibly low figure considering we are approaching the peak of severe weather season which traditionally occurs in May and June. See the graph below depicting the frequency of thunderstorm warnings by month since 1986.
Just because it's been quiet doesn't mean it will stay that way. In 2008 a cold spring kept severe weather limited deep into May. At this point in the month only 46 thunderstorm and tornado warnings had been issued. (see below)
However, in late May conditions became favorable for stor