Tornado Alley could see more severe storm risks this year
FORT WORTH, Texas — It’s that time of year to start worrying about the spring storm season. And one private weather forecaster, AccuWeather, is predicting a higher frequency of severe storm risks in Tornado Alley, which will include parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
“We believe that the more traditional severe weather region of the central and southern Plains will have a higher potential for tornadoes and severe weather more frequently than they have experienced on average the past three years,” Paul Pastelok, AccuWeather’s Lead Long-Range Meteorologist, said in a news release.
What’s the driving factor in this more active storm season?
“We believe warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures over the Gulf of Mexico will lead to increased moisture transport from the Gulf over the region and ultimately a higher frequency of severe weather in these areas,” Pastelok said.
But the National Weather Service says it’s almost impossible to make long-range predictions on tornadoes. The Climate Prediction Center’s seasonal outlook for March, April and May predicts above-normal precipitation, but that has no bearing on how many tornadoes will occur, said National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Martello.
“There’s no way you’re going to know from event to event,” Martello said. “If you’re missing one ingredient it’s a non-event.”