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andyhb

Predict/Guess the Number of Tornadoes and the First High Risk of 2016

Number of Tornadoes in 2016  

61 members have voted

  1. 1. Number of Tornadoes

    • Less than 900
      5
    • 900 to 1000
      3
    • 1000 to 1100
      6
    • 1100 to 1200
      14
    • 1200 to 1300
      15
    • 1300 to 1400
      15
    • 1400 to 1500
      1
    • Greater than 1500
      2


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May the tornado gods have mercy on our souls.

Eventually the other shoe drops, whether it is this spring or next year. Even in the lousy 80s there were still decent/good years.

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May the tornado gods have mercy on our souls.

 

That said, we're not in a significant drought anymore in the S Plains like those years were.

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Eventually the other shoe drops, whether it is this spring or next year. Even in the lousy 80s there were still decent/good years.

 

The other shoe already dropped in 2010-11, this is payback for two good years, just like Atlantic hurricane season after 2005.

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May the tornado gods have mercy on our souls.

I don't know if that temp outlook is going to verify. Nearly all the plains from Houston to Glasgow to Grand Forks have had above normal precipitation this month. Little of the plains has D0 or D1 drought right now. D2 drought is nearly non-existent east of the salt flats of UT and the Bighorn crest of WY. Higher moisture tends to feed back to above normal rainfall and reduced temperatures. So maybe, dynamically, at 500mb there might be warmer than average temperatures, but moist ground will probably not allow such a crazy hot temps/ low precip.

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Still think we'll see a high risk. Probably mid-late may.

However high risks in the plains are rarer. You just don't have as much certainty, especially with moisture, out here. There's always questions. This is straight from a forecaster's mouth.

Think once we get past this minor block pattern may will go nasty, or at least potentially. We've received plenty of rainfall here and nearby lately. That day 8 system will likely be the start of a progressive pattern.

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A few thoughts as we look ahead to a slow severe weather stretch through at least Friday...

 

Early May is notorious for being a fickle period, often fairly slow, but a few higher-end outbreaks skew the numbers. Based on the 1986-2015 tornado climo period, 19 out of the past 30 months of May ended up below the 1986-2015 average. This shouldn't really be a surprise, since big outbreaks can skew numbers high. Since 1986, 20 months of May saw the first week fall below average. (11 of those 20 were less than 50% to average with fewer than 25 tornadoes in the first seven days of May) After a record-breaking April in 2001, the first seven days of May were just 8% to average with a mere four tornadoes.

 

What might be even more interesting is the frequency of quiet/slow days in early May. It's really not that much different than late April when big days are about as common as quiet days.

post-533-0-71329000-1462224371_thumb.png

 

During May 1-7, from 2004-2015, more than half of the days (55%) saw two or less tornadoes. There were NO tornadoes on 35% of those days. Think about that, in early May, the odds are slightly more than 1:3 to see no tornadoes for a day.

 

If we go all the way back to 1986, notice that there seems to be a 10-12 year cycle (more or less) for early May activity. The 1990s had some crazy starts to May, while the 80s and recent years have generally been slow.

post-533-0-18017300-1462224443_thumb.png

 

The main point here is that people shouldn't be panicking that May is starting slow. If anything, it's to be expected. It's not until late May and June that we often see strings of nearly non-stop tornado activity. On the flip side, April was also active to finish...

 

With all of this said, I am still somewhat pessimistic. April didn't quite pan out as active as I thought and there are still mixed signals as we move into next week. At this rate, it wouldn't surprise me if we don't get a tornado-based high risk outlook this spring...

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This is a great analysis Quincy, and you make a great point, but comparing the current era to the 1980's is definitely not assuring. :P

 

All that aside, the similarities between 2012-current and the late 1980's are uncanny. And unlike the 1980's period this tornado downturn has no end in sight with western ridging continuing to dominate. I suspect the first signs that tornado season will get going again will be a reprieve in the CA drought.

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This is a great analysis Quincy, and you make a great point, but comparing the current era to the 1980's is definitely not assuring. :P

 

All that aside, the similarities between 2012-current and the late 1980's are uncanny. And unlike the 1980's period this tornado downturn has no end in sight with western ridging continuing to dominate. I suspect the first signs that tornado season will get going again will be a reprieve in the CA drought.

 

How is western ridging continuing to dominate? I really do not see that at all aside from the stubborn high latitude higher heights/-EPO. There have been plenty of western troughs since last May, there have just been a number of issues after that fact that have mitigated some of the higher end potential (i.e. junk convection last year and blocking further east this year).

 

I just don't really see how western ridging dominating can be pointed to as the main problem anymore.

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How is western ridging continuing to dominate? I really do not see that at all aside from the stubborn high latitude higher heights/-EPO. There have been plenty of western troughs since last May, there have just been a number of issues after that fact that have mitigated some of the higher end potential (i.e. junk convection last year and blocking further east this year).

 

I just don't really see how western ridging dominating can be pointed to as the main problem anymore.

The western ridge isn't the issue at this point, it is the eastern canada trough western canada ridge with the -NAO/+PNA.. Whenever the PNA goes negative all hell is going to break loose, the NAO will dictate where. Either in the Plains or in the southeast/midwest.

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The western ridge isn't the issue at this point, it is the eastern canada trough western canada ridge with the -NAO/+PNA.. Whenever the PNA goes negative all hell is going to break loose, the NAO will dictate where. Either in the Plains or in the southeast/midwest.

And if the models are right it'll be in the middle of the month. Showing a pretty substantial drop at the moment

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And if the models are right it'll be in the middle of the month. Showing a pretty substantial drop at the moment

Yeah, usually those projections are a bit quick though, so I would pin May 20th and beyond as the period that could be highly volatile.

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Updated tornado counts based on the work from Ian and myself. This includes the three tornadoes added by NWS TSA just within the past couple of hours from April 27th. (The climo period may be a bit lower than commonly used, but the late April 2016 activity has brought us, at least temporarily, back close to average.) Look for the count to drop below average over the next couple of days before potentially rebounding later this weekend into early next week.

post-533-0-79198600-1462335278_thumb.png

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I never looked at the NWS severe weather site over the past three days (as I normally would) as quite busy with other things but what was the highest risk level issued, and in anyone's opinion, what should it have been?

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years ago at eastern we tried to predict the number of severe reports the next day (or that day but guesses had to be in by a certain time in the morning)

 

for example I predict a filtered storm report of 50/50/10,for today    50 wind damage reports 50 hail and 10 tornadoes nationwide,  I just made these up without looking at any data.  Keep in mind the same outbreak over more populated areas will have more reports

 

I don't have time to do this everyday but just a suggestion.   Maybe a seperate thread?  

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This is a bit of a side note. What web sites were we using to look at CAPE and shear in, say for example, 2010 or 2011?  I think I might have been using College of Dupage and Earl Barker's Page.

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This is a bit of a side note. What web sites were we using to look at CAPE and shear in, say for example, 2010 or 2011? I think I might have been using College of Dupage and Earl Barker's Page.

Twisterdata as well

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Man, am I going to take it in the shorts on this year's prediction.

We get a strong Niña this winter, and next year will be a banner year. I know. Even a stopped clock... Blah blah blah

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I have noticed a trend. The hurricane seasons (Atlantic) and tornado seasons (US) have been weak since 2013

 

Hurricanes: Atlantic basin mean ACE per year is 93 units. The last Atlantic hurricane to make landfall on the US was Hurricane Arthur (2014). The last major hurricane to make landfall on the US was Hurricane Wilma (2005). It has been nearly 11 years since a major hurricane has hit the United States.

2011: 126 (above)

2012: 133 (above)

2013: 36 (below)

2014: 67 (below)

2015: 63 (below)

2016: 10.9 (currently not very active, but it could become much more active)

 

Tornadoes: the average number of tornadoes in the US per year is roughly 1400 (total L.S.R. tornadoes) or 1297 (confirmed tornadoes)

2010: 1282 (below... very close to the 1297 value)

2011: 1699 (above)

2012: 939 (below)

2013: 903 (below)

2014: 893 (below)

2015: 1178 (below)

2016: currently the SPC web page says that we are 300 tornadoes (L.S.R. tornado reports) below average for this time of year

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Since 2000 there have been 5 years (of the 16) in which the SPC issued a high risk in Oct, Nov, or Dec. Dare I ask if we go two consecutive calendar years without one?

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Sort of a weird season again in some ways. Had an ok period in spring but some pretty notable out-of-spring outbreaks.  Hope SPC puts out their 2016 map of tornado tracks sometime soon. I only keep track of the Indiana tornado numbers and I can say that it was an above average year here.

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