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andyhb

Predict/Guess the Number of Tornadoes and the First High Risk of 2020

Number of Tornadoes in 2020  

24 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Number of Tornadoes

    • Less than 900
      0
    • 900-1000
      0
    • 1000-1100
    • 1100-1200
    • 1200-1300
    • 1300-1400
    • 1400-1500
    • Greater than 1500
      0

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  • Poll closed on 03/01/2020 at 06:00 AM

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As is tradition, let's give our calls for how active the first tornado season of the decade will be. Looks like we'll be heading towards spring with weak positive ENSO and roughly neutral PDO, in addition to a lack of drought over most of the area east of the Rockies. I have a feeling like we may see another A/AA season given some of these climate states, but obviously sub-seasonal activity will again be key. Will have more analysis later.

Number of tornadoes: 1310

First High Risk: 4/18

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It took 7 years but I finally saw a season of sustained A/AA activity.. although I know that may be a controversial statement in itself lol. The pattern looks somewhat similar to last winter at this time so I'll stick with persistence. 

 

1345

First high risk 4/20 

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1,090 and no high risk. I'm not really seeing anything to flip us back to more sustained high-end tornado activity like was seen in some years such as 2003, '04, '08 and '11 (although, a neutral PDO and no big honking NE Pacific ridge forcing eastern troughing and keeping the central CONUS cold through April and into May after a mild DJF to piss off the snow lovers would help). Also guessing SPC will be somewhat gun-shy after the seeming slam-dunk of last May 20.

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Much like last year, as of right now things look promising. Going to guess 1380. SPC will be gun shy but another high end potential event in may will have them pull the trigger. Who knows if it will verify. First high risk: May 10th

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1,090 and no high risk. I'm not really seeing anything to flip us back to more sustained high-end tornado activity like was seen in some years such as 2003, '04, '08 and '11 (although, a neutral PDO and no big honking NE Pacific ridge forcing eastern troughing and keeping the central CONUS cold through April and into May after a mild DJF to piss off the snow lovers would help). Also guessing SPC will be somewhat gun-shy after the seeming slam-dunk of last May 20.


Just as a side note we started with a cool spring in OK but set the yearly record with 147 tornadoes. Granted only one was a EF3 but it was a wild few weeks as it was happening.


.

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I am wondering if we should start a new medium-range tornado/severe weather thread, for general purposes. At the current time, there are no days with a slight risk or 15% risk on the extended SPC outlooks. This could change soon, but I'm not sure.

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I think we went all of May without a single moderate risk?

This image is both staggering and telling about the past few months. The lack of tornado watches across the Plains, north and northwest of the I-44 corridor is remarkable. Just ridiculous having gotten through most of the peak tornado season... 

 

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Spring 2020 was interesting, with a particularly intense period in April, but tornadic activity dropped off pretty quickly after that, with a quiet autumn to boot.

I'm going to assume that 2021 could be an intense season, with a La Niña currently in place.  I know that a transitioning La Niña favors an uptick in tornadic activity in the Southern Plains (Texas-Oklahoma), but that Dixie Alley and the Ohio Valley often see increased activity in cases of a resurgent La Niña (see "US regional tornado outbreaks and their links to spring ENSO phases and North Atlantic SST variability" by Lee et al.).  Forecast precipitation anomalies seem to show increased precipitation in the Ohio Valley in particular.

I'm going to place my bets on an active 2021 season for Dixie Alley and the Ohio Valley.

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Another epic fail of a chase "season." Sequences like May 4-10, 2003, May 21-30, 2004 and May 22-June 12, 2008 (2010 wasn't bad either, between 5/10, Bowdle and the June events) seem to be a thing of the past. 2019 tried but each day had issues that led to them coming in below their ceiling, with unfavorable storm modes and the like (plus the abominable wildfire haze).

I'm finding it harder and harder to go into spring with the same anticipation that I used to because my expectations keep getting crushed. Kind of like how @beavis1729 feels about winter.

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On 2/4/2021 at 4:09 PM, stormdragonwx said:

Agreed 2020 was mostly a bust. Too soon to make a 2021 thread? With the strong La Nina pattern taking shape we may be in for a very interesting spring.

I think @andyhb might be a little gun shy after starting this thread for 2020 on the first of the year, lol. Early indications are the typical La Nina duality of things looking rather ominous for Dixie Alley and perhaps the Ohio Valley and Lower Mississippi Valley, but less clear for the better chase country further west/north especially in the traditional chase "season" of May and the first half of June.

Some thought 2007-'08 might be a good analog for this winter, which had already featured two fairly large outbreaks by this point in February which obviously hasn't happened, but all it takes it one as we saw in Alabama a couple weeks ago.

Andy's posted some good analysis here and on other forums about why 2021 might favor the more active analogs (1999, 2008, 2011*) more so than the "dud" ones (2006, 2012, 2018, etc) but all we can do at this point is wait and watch. Won't be anything anytime soon with all the cold air dominating everywhere east of the Rockies, lol.

*The usual caveat that the one day in particular we all remember that year for was so extreme it is HIGHLY unlikely to recur anytime soon, but never say never when it comes to the weather.

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We are getting closer and closer to March. My thinking is that generally moderate La Nina winters should correlate with a higher than average number of tornadoes in the USA for the season. As far as stronger (negative) MEI numbers, years such as 1999, 2000, 2008, 2011, and 2018 should be similar to this year, at least as January and February numbers. Possibly even 1996 could be an analog for a La Nina.

total tornadoes / number of F1+  or  EF1+

1996: 1173/430

1999: 1339/530

2000: 1075/352 (much weaker year for F1+ tornadoes)

2008: 1692/707

2011: 1703/909 (outlier year)

2018: 1123/501

perhaps my best guess for the activity of the year might a prediction of EF1+ tornadoes as an average of these F1+ or EF1+ numbers, with less weight toward the 2011 number.

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