Severe Weather 2018

This severe weather season will be?

  • Above Average

    Votes: 7 31.8%
  • Average

    Votes: 13 59.1%
  • Below Average

    Votes: 2 9.1%

  • Total voters
    22
  • Poll closed .
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609
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There was also an EF3 in Wyoming on June 1st. Two EF3s in Wyoming this year, and as far as I can tell so far Oklahoma has only managed a single EF2, and Kansas a single EF3. Weird year.
Coming in I think a lot of people thought it would most likely be a quiet plains year with Dixie getting the bulk of the action. After the originally ominous looking pattern turned out to be nothing more than a slightly quieter than average April, it set the stage for a potentially record low year.

My biggest takeaway/lesson learned this season has been always forecast with persistence and doubt the models heavily if they're indicating an active stretch due to the current state of our background pattern. Somebody on the board whom I used to highly view and respect rather rudely and unprofessionally insulted me in my Facebook messages after I said that it would be difficult to top 3/19 this season, but frankly I turned out to be correct in that statement as I had some serious doubts in the back of my mind that we would be breaking this background state despite what the models were saying, especially as we settled into an absolutely bone chilling April. After looking into it further, this really was NOT a close resemblance to 2011 heading into it like what was being said at first glance in late March, with the most striking thing being the temperature averages across the CONUS.

I've attached 3 images - 2011, 2014, and 2018 (2011 and 2014 being the two most active Dixie seasons of the decade and 2018 being obviously being me discussing what has gone wrong with this season)







April 2011, first off, was really your textbook look of an active larger scale pattern. Troughing in the W and NW was obvious with it being considerably cooler than average there, and there are signs of a bit of a suppressed ridge in the E US with warmer than average temperatures. This allowed shortwave after shortwave to fire out of the W US and race across the country, leading to a years worth of tornado outbreaks in the span of 30 days.

2014 was more of a mix between 2011 and 2018 - the larger scale pattern wasn't quite as favorable with the ridging in AK and the SW US and eastern troughing, but it wasn't quite as pronounced and it was able to break down enough to produce the late month tornado outbreak as well as some smaller scale events throughout the month.

2018 though is definitely what you do NOT want to see when looking for a larger scale pattern. Very, very strong ridging out west with some absolute bone chilling cold further east that really did not break much except for a day or two ahead of any incoming systems (Not good for airmass recovery). I don't know if we did so here, but I know there were definite record lows across the midwest as well as an absolute noreaster machine off the east coast. This led to a case where the ridging was TOO suppressed and the bulk of our severe threats wound up confined to S MS and AL, and areas north of I-20 really wound up in the cool sector for the most part. And then, once we got to May, we almost immediately flipped to a high-amplitude ridge which didn't allow for proper trough ejections and nearly everything that attempted to move into the plains got sheared out save for a few mesoscale high plains events and the KS event (That I wanted to chase but couldn't get out there until the next day gahh).

As for why that's the case, I've read papers that an SSW event (Sudden Stratospheric Warming) event in late February pretty much forced a total breakdown of the jet stream and associated upper level pattern, which put us back into a state of deep winter in April. If that's actually the case, I'm not entirely sure, but it's an interesting theory that a lot of research is being conducted on.

As for statistics, we've still yet to get our first EF-4+ of the year, and every day that goes by between now and November sees the odds get lower and lower for that to happen. If we make it past the summer solstice without an EF-4, odds are very strong that we may have to wait until November for another realistic opportunity, and that may put us at greater than 50-60% odds of seeing the first year on modern record without a violent tornado, as the cool season is very hit-or-miss.
 
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Might be worth watching northern North Dakota and southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba tonight if the storm mode doesn't get too junky before the nocturnal LLJ kicks in.
 

WesL

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Tornado damages were reported in several Brazilian cities on Tuesday (12). Most tornadoes occurred at night and affected rural areas. At least two people were killed and dozens injured. There was a tornado in neighboring Argentina as well.
@FelipeFreitas Welcome to TalkWeather! I think we often forget that tornadoes happen in other parts of the world so thanks for sharing the info and pictures. How common are tornadoes in Brazil?
 

Taylor Campbell

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I just looked at the GFS, NAM, and EURO, and all appear to be stronger, and deeper than originally thought with a shortwave trough from Thursday into Saturday. If it holds we may get a decent severe weather threat out of this system.
 

Taylor Campbell

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The SPC is already warning of an upgrade to a slight risk for Friday. I think there could even be a need for an enhanced when small scale features get identified. I’m getting pretty excited.
 

Taylor Campbell

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You know it's been bad when we're excited about a possible enhanced risk in late June.
Yes, it’s been a poor season, but I would be excited about an enhanced anytime of the year, and especially in late June. It’s also a threat that really hasn’t been that impressive until recently so it’s pretty exciting to see a higher threat potential suddenly show up within a few days.
 

Taylor Campbell

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2225 UNK COLUMBIANA SHELBY AL 3318 8661 APPROXIMATELY 70-80 TREES DOWN IN/AROUND THE COLUMBIANA AREA WITH 4-5 HOMES DAMAGED. NOT KNOWN IF THERE ARE ANY INJURIES. TIME ESTIMATED FROM RADAR. (BMX)
Dang! And the storm report page shows all sorts of wind damage across the area. I don't remember seeing any warnings! Wow!
 

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