The National Weather Service said late Sunday that the Deep South is going to be under the gun for tornado activities early this week. Following on the heals of a very slow beginning to the United States’ severe weather season, things are beginning to fall into place that will lead to a more active period of weather in April. The states of Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri face the biggest threats of tornadoes Tuesday but even locations like St. Louis, MO and Memphis, TN are at high risk for twisters.
In terms of economic damage, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are the top weather phenomena in the nation. The United States has more tornadoes than any other country on earth. Every year, about 1,200 twisters claim the lives of dozens while causing damages into the hundreds of millions of dollars. March 2013 has been unusually quiet in terms of tornadic activity as there were only 17 tornadoes reported.
Forecasters across the nation agree that an active and unsettled wet week is ahead for much of the country. Maybe its just a coincidence that this week is Severe Weather Awareness week. But, seeing that the United States’ peak tornado season runs from mid-April through May, it really is no fluke that there is the chance of very severe weather developing now. Southern lower Michigan and many cities in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois may see rainfall from between 2 to 4 inches Tuesday and Wednesday. This is because a stationary front is set to stall out across southern lower Michigan Monday through mid-week. This part of the country could also see strong winds, hail and possible tornadoes.
A massive supercell thunderstorm already struck the US this week. Sunday night, a severe storm dropped hail in nearly every county in Missouri and was moving north towards, Illinois creating challenges for property owners who may have neglected sump pump maintenance with a fairly subdued spring to date. That state also saw heavy rainfall, high winds and some flooding as the system checked into the area. It is a classic storm set-up for the mid portion of the country over the next few days. A strong low is forming on the front range of the Rocky Mountains that runs up toward the Great Lakes and drags a cold front down into northern Texas. This is making conditions just right for the development of supercell storms which could bring winds as high as 60 miles per hour, heavy rains, lightening and damaging hail, not to mention the real threat of tornadoes.