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A quiet end to April

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SUMMARY

I know March gets the reputation for coming in like a lion and out like a lamb, but I can’t imagine a month going out more peacefully than April is today. This final day of April will feature sunny skies, calm winds, and temps around 70 degrees. We had some frost scattered around this morning but that is all a memory now. We’re already in the mid 50s and it’s not even 9:00 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday look great, as well, with temps getting a bit warmer each day. It looks like we may even hit 80 or better on Thursday! The next frontal system arrives Friday, with a chance of rain and a rumble of thunder.

DISCUSSION

Don’t forget tomorrow is election day. You can’t use weather as an excuse not to vote. You couldn’t ask for better voting weather!

While our weather is great this week, the same will not be true for folks across the central U.S. And although it has been a rather quiet severe weather season for them thus far, that will all change this week. I mention this here so that I can let you all know that we don’t have to worry about those storms impacting us. So, if you hear of tornadoes across the Plains this week, don’t think that it’s all moving east and that it’ll be here one day this week. Most of that energy is riding a potent jet stream that will send those storms well to the north and west of us this week. We have high pressure in control and by the time this high pressure begins to break down enough for the front to move in here, the front will have lost a LOT of its spunk.

Some of the storms across the Plains will be intense and there will likely be a lot of tornadoes.  This is the longest Oklahoma has ever gone in a spring season without a single tornado (since records have been kept). This is also the first time they have ever moved into the Month of May without having recorded a single tornado in the year. That’s right, Oklahoma has not had a single tornado this entire year. Bizarre, to say the least.

That streak ends this week.

The map below shows tornado chances for today. As you can see, Oklahoma has no chance for a tornado today, though the 2% chance outlined area comes close. This means Oklahoma will very likely go into May tornado-free.

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On Tuesday, the greatest risk of severe weather will be across southeast Nebraska, but isolated supercells will be possible as far south as Texas. If one of these cells moves across Oklahoma, it would likely produce a tornado. The better chance of severe weather comes Wednesday, when tornadoes are almost guaranteed for Oklahoma, ending their tornado-free streak for sure.

I noticed that in 1989 Oklahoma City went through the entire month of April without a single thunderstorm. So, there have been quiet Aprils before, but those were preceded by at least a tornado or two in March.

And with this being the first big chase opportunity of the season, the storm chasers are all running for the Plains. Ever since the movie Twister came out, storm chasing has grown in popularity. Now, we have radar, etc on our cell phones, enabling just about anyone to consider themselves a storm chaser. It’s an absolute mess. The scariest part of storm chasing these days is the other chasers on the road, some of which have no idea what they’re doing. The last time I was in Oklahoma chasing the chasers scared me half to death. We ended up stuck in a chaser traffic jam while the clouds above us swirled like a top. If anything had come down we would have just had to get in the ditch and hope for the best. Not fun.

You can track chasers on weatherTAP’s RadarLab HD+.  I’ll share some images of that this week to let you see what that looks like. Each dot will represent a chaser. When a warning is issued, all the dots start racing toward the warning. It looks like ants moving toward something sweet (haha).

Here’s a picture of what the chasers look like from the ground when a storm is nearby. Imagine cars off the side of the road as far as you can see. Sometimes they park on both sides and they even block the road at times. We refer to this as “chaser convergence”. We even have our phone numbers listed with our chase information, so other chasers can call us and ask us what we’re seeing. That part is actually pretty cool. The chaser convergence part is not cool. Not at all.

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And it’s only a matter of time before we see a lot of chasers get hurt. One storm will change direction suddenly and everyone will be sitting there in their cars.

Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about any chaser converging on Tennessee today! Unless they’re chasing sunshine, of course (ha).

You all have a great day and enjoy this weather!

 

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