Wednesday was one of the worst days in history for tornado deaths. The current total is around 250. The city of Tuscaloosa in Alabama was devastated by a mile wide, long track tornado. Tornadoes in April are not at all uncommon and some of the most violent tornadoes can form early in the season, but this year it does appear to be worse than normal with several strong storm systems battering the Eastern Half of Tornado Alley the last couple of weeks.
With more storms and possibly Tornadoes possible on Saturday, there is the risk of more fatalities before the month is out. Then we move into May and June, traditionally the peak tornado months. This could be a bad year. This year there is a lingering La Nina meaning cold waters of the US Western Seaboard, this keeps the JetStream running north through the Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes which isolates cold air to the north and keeps the warm humid air that is the fuel for the severe storms that cause tornadoes to the jet streams south. This also prevent s plunging cold fronts from sweeping down across the US, so the South stays warm and wet, ideal conditions for storms.
1999 was a La Nina year and during that year a devastating EF5 tornado swept through Moore, Oklahoma.
I’m going to be chasing in early and mid June this year, when the storms should be moving slowly and out on the flat plains where visibility is better. I’m running a video production training course as part of the storm chasing expedition. If you want to join us, please contact me for full details.
My heart goes out to all affected by these deadly storms.