Drought vs. Tornado Season

It’s been a popular question that we get back here in the weather center. How will the drought impact our tornado season? In the blog below, I mentioned the late start to the season and what a late start means to our severe weather reports. But, the late start doesn’t really take into account the drought that we’re dealing with. So, how will this drought impact our spring tornado season? Turns out, that there is a good chance it may play a HUGE role.

I remember working in Abilene,Texas back in 2006 and watching the nasty drought extend from West Texas all the way into Oklahoma. And for many, it appears that this drought we’re dealing with now is resembling the drought of 2006 almost perfectly.

Both years saw severe droughts turn into extreme droughts and while 2006 ended about 8 inches below normal in the rainfall department, there is certainly no doubt about it that this year could resemble that. So, comparing 2006 to 2011 now:

That year, most likely because of the drought, our statewide tornado reports were well below average. Only 26 to be exact, down from the average number of 53. But, despite the low tornado report, 4 of those did occur in counties very close to The Metro. Which means that even though we had a low report number, tornadoes still could strike anywhere. And remember, it only takes 1 to completely change your life forever!

-Damon

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