An unusually quiet March for tornadoes--only 6 so far

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:37 AM GMT on March 21, 2013

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After an unusually active January for tornadoes, with approximately double the activity of a typical January, tornado activity dropped to near-normal levels in February, and virtually flat-lined during March. The five confirmed tornadoes in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama on Monday, March 18 brought the March 2013 tornado tally to just six. Monday's severe weather outbreak in the south brought hail up to the size of softballs to Jackson, MS, and damage from the hailstorm is estimated in the tens of millions.

Since 2000, the U.S. has averaged 89 tornadoes each March, so we have a long way to go to reach average. The 154 tornadoes last year in March 2012 was the fourth highest March total since records began in 1950 (record: 170 in March 2007.) Records for most and least tornadoes in a month have been set 24 times over the past 60 years. Ten of those records have been set in the past decade--six for the fewest tornadoes, and four for the most, said tornado researcher Harold Brooks last week. In addition, the three earliest starts of tornado season and the four latest have all occurred since 1997, and "We've had a dramatic increase in the variability of tornado occurrence," Brooks said. The jet stream, which plays a key role in tornado formation, has been wildly variable in recent years, leading to the large swings in tornado activity.


Figure 1. The EF-2 tornado with 120 mph winds that hit Meriwether and Pike County, Georgia on Monday, March 18, 2013 was one of just six March tornadoes in 2013. The cell labeled "3" spawned the tornado. Two other supercells are also labeled (cell #1 brought hail to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.) Thanks go to Stu Ostro of TWC for providing the image.

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center is highlighting only a small "Slight Risk" area for severe weather on Thursday over Northern Texas, and another "Slight RIsk" area on Saturday over the Southeast U.S. The winter-like jet stream pattern we are in is likely to be dominant for at least the next week, and perhaps into April. So, March 2013 has a shot at making the top-five list for the quietest March months on record for tornado activity. Years with fewest March tornadoes since 1950:

1) 1951: 6
2) 1969: 8
3) 1966: 12
4) 1958: 15
5) 1978: 17


Forecasting the End
We're safely past the December 21, 2012 date of the predicted Mayan Apocalypse, so its permissible to engage in a bit of "what if" speculation on how civilization on Earth might ultimately meet its doom. That's the premise of The Weather Channel's "Forecasting the End" series, which begins airing Thursday March 21 at 9 pm EDT. I'll be making appearances in six of the episodes, set to air each Thursday through mid-April. You might hear me say the phrase, "It would be a bad day on planet Earth" more than once during the shows, as the type of events being considered--an asteroid strike, super volcano eruption, gamma ray burst, encounter with a rogue planet, and massive methane expulsion event--would all do very bad things to earth's climate, making human life on Earth a tenuous proposition. The spectacular graphics should make for an enjoyable show.

New Wettest Place on Earth Discovered?
After successfully helping cast down one iconic world record--the bogus 136°F measured at El Azizia, Libya in 1922--wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, and weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera are at it again. Mr. Burt documents in his latest blog post a challenge to the world's rainiest location, which is officially Mawsynram, Meghalaya State, India, with an annual average precipitation of 11,872 mm (467.40”). It turns out that Puerto Lopez, Colombia may be even wetter.

I'll have a new post on Friday.

Jeff Masters

Sample of hail (sirenscall)
3/18/13
Sample of hail

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401 aspectre: "The...flood outlook for Fargo [NorthDakota] and...Moorhead [Minnesota] includes a 50 percent chance that the river would...surpass the fifth-highest crest...There's a 10 percent chance of an all-time record."
449 trunkmonkey: caused by global warming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seeing as you are so insistent, I'll concede the possibility that the southward-drooping jetstream didn't happen all by itself.
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OPC seems to think it will be pretty strong as it rounds the piece of vortex.



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Ok, this I do mean to post here.

Here she comes captain! Hard turn to port!

Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10480
From today!:)SST
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The storm in the western Atlantic continues to bomb out.







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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42053
First of several short discussion blogs

Edit: LOL, did not mean to post here. *hits forehead*
That is what happens when you have multiple WU tabs open, I guess.

If you guys want to read it, go ahead, but I did not mean to post it here, my bad.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10480
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42053
Vertical Instability in Tropical Atlantic and in the Caribbean near normal..March 21st


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Nice Day Here Again. Got up to 74.2 Another Goldilocks Day.

Sunshine Of Your Love
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453. VR46L
Quoting Ameister12:

What an impressive storm! To think it's still March.


LOL.... I think the key is in the Name

WMODEMO maybe it should have been called WMO-DEMO and people would not be getting excited about a fake invest LMAO
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Holy Moly Aussie! I didn't think your corner of the planet got big nados like that!

Nor did I Mate! I was shocked when I saw this video.



[Upload your own video]
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
The Sun is setting on Wmodemo:


What an impressive storm! To think it's still March.
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Quoting aspectre:
"National Weather Service told...the Fargo area...to prepare for one of the Red River's five largest crests"

"The...flood outlook for Fargo [NorthDakota] and...Moorhead [Minnesota] includes a 50 percent chance that the river would top 38 feet later this spring, which would surpass the fifth-highest crest of 37.34 feet in 1969. There's a 10 percent chance of an all-time record."


caused by global warming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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The Sun is setting on Wmodemo:

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Quoting aspectre:
372 MrMixon: There's an awful lot of speculation being presented as incontrovertible fact...It's quite possible to mine salt without causing a sinkhole - happens all the time.

True... BUT mining a salt dome located under a swamp seems to be asking for trouble.
I wonder if the mine engineers looked at the plausibility of the overburden becoming stucturally weakened by the water's downward percolation before operations began, or whether they were deliberately withheld from doing their normal job under the premise that "ignorance is bliss" when applying for the various mining permits.


Absolutely. There's no question somebody dropped the ball in the design and/or permitting of that mine. My bone was with RTS's suggestions that 1) it was everybody's fault (including the people who used the salt) and 2) all mining inevitably leads to sinkholes/collapses.

Or at least I think that was my point. I had to get up two hours earlier than normal today in order to squeeze in a site visit, so the old brain might be a little fuzzy at this hour...
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
427 ncstorm: ...did I touch a nerve...?

Nah, just pointed out that some of us read what's been posted on this blog, then use that info to avoid making redundant comments.
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And the journey begins.

Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10480
Since Spring is here, I've bee interested and started learning about some of the biggest tornado events in Ohio, so I plan on posting a blog about some of Ohio's biggest and worst Tornadoes/Tornado Outbreaks and having it out in a few days. I would have it out sooner, but I just don't have the patients. :P
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Well anyway... There is a threat of severe weather over the next few hours, but a watch is unlikely.

Mesoscale discussion #290
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
That area of convection well SSE of the CV islands has persisted all day,but is very early for strong tropical waves to be around.For sure it will vanish in the next 6-12 hours but with the waters above average in the Eastern Atlantic,it may not be a surprise to see some early waves in the area.

Eumetsat Africa


hey! nice site.

___________

I have a feeling someone here got banned... not sure. But Im sure some just want to stay cool.

Im off to school, see y'all later
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Actually, I had hardly ever defend Nea because either he does it or somebody else, such as I did, does it for him.


You asked a question on a forum. A forum is open to everybody who wants to comment on any post they feel like. Had you wanted Isaac and only Isaac to answer the question, you should have sent either him or Nea a message.

I did not specifically say TODAY is when you guys mess with Nea. But in your case, you did. Making a smart remark towards Nea every time somebody posts something regarding [mainly] the opposition of climate change really gets on my nerves. And don't tell me you don't do it.

Don't even give me the 'just ignore me then' crap either because I enjoy your comments, NC. Just the constant "attacks" (if you want to call it that) towards Nea is tedious.


Attacks?? on Nea??..Lawddddd.....LOL!! you making Nea seem like he is a victim on this blog..I just busted my gut laughing at that and of course I wouldnt tell you or anyone to ignore me..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16223
That area of convection well SSE of the CV islands has persisted all day,but is very early for strong tropical waves to be around.For sure it will vanish in the next 6-12 hours but with the waters above average in the Eastern Atlantic,it may not be a surprise to see some early waves in the area.I know that Grothar saw it first.

Eumetsat Africa
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14890
Quoting Ameister12:

Still a couple days out. Here in Ohio, the meteorologists always predict over a half a foot, but we end up getting a bunch of rain. :P

There's still time for the models to changed as the system hasn't even been well sampled yet. Slight shifts will change who gets the heaviest precip.
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Quoting wxgeek723:


Good thing you can be here at all times to defend. ;)

Actually, I had hardly ever defend Nea because either he does it or somebody else, such as I did, does it for him.

Quoting ncstorm:


and I dont understand why you and others have to answer for Nea..he is a grown man and he can answer for himself as to why he doesnt post them..I'm pretty sure I didnt say your name..and please point to any where in this blog,or the last blog or even this month where I have called on nea..I hardly even quote him better yet call on him...

Nea can fight his own battles..this aint the playground at Weatherunderground Elementary..


You asked a question on a forum. A forum is open to everybody who wants to comment on any post they feel like. Had you wanted Isaac or Nea, and only Isaac or Nea, to answer the question, you should have sent either him or Nea a message.

I did not specifically say TODAY is when you guys mess with Nea. But in your case, you did. Making a smart remark towards Nea every time somebody posts something regarding [mainly] the opposition of climate change really gets on my nerves. And don't tell me you don't do it.

Don't even give me the 'just ignore me then' crap either because I enjoy your comments, NC. Just the constant "attacks" (if you want to call it that) towards Nea is tedious.
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Quoting Astrometeor:


I will be traveling along in that general direction on Sunday depending on the route, most likely I-40 West then I-81 North. I would rather not have snow attempting to impede my family's travels.

Still a couple days out. Here in Ohio, the meteorologists always predict over a half a foot, but we end up getting a bunch of rain. :P
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Holy Moly Aussie! I didn't think your corner of the planet got big nados like that!
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Quoting Ameister12:
Ugh...! Winter doesn't want to go away. Models are predicting anywhere from 5-10 (possibly more) inches of snow in my area (SW Ohio) on sunday!



I will be traveling along in that general direction on Sunday depending on the route, most likely I-40 West then I-81 North. I would rather not have snow attempting to impede my family's travels.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10480
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Cute.

No, I just don't understand why you, and others on this blog, can't blog without persistently bothering Nea.


and I dont understand why you and others have to answer for Nea..he is a grown man and he can answer for himself as to why he doesnt post them..I'm pretty sure I didnt say your name..and please point to any where in this blog,or the last blog or even this month where I have called on nea..I hardly even quote him better yet call on him...

Nea can fight his own battles..this aint the playground at Weatherunderground Elementary..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16223
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Probably because a) it has been posted by others or b) he has a life and isn't able to be on the computer at all times to post it.


Good thing you can be here at all times to defend. ;)
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Quoting ncstorm:


i wonder why nea doesn't post these anymore?

I see what you did there...

Actually though, I'm pretty sure he posted one of these a couple days ago.
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Quoting ncstorm:


Wow did I touch a nerve Taz jr?


that would be somewhat bothersome...about his comment
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Ugh...! Winter doesn't want to go away. Models are predicting anywhere from 5-10 (possibly more) inches of snow in my area (SW Ohio) on sunday!

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Quoting ncstorm:


Wow did I touch a nerve Taz jr?

Cute.

No, I just don't understand why you, and others on this blog, can't post without persistently bothering Nea.
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372 MrMixon: There's an awful lot of speculation being presented as incontrovertible fact...It's quite possible to mine salt without causing a sinkhole - happens all the time.

True... BUT mining a salt dome located under a swamp seems to be asking for trouble.
I wonder if the mine engineers looked at the plausibility of the overburden becoming stucturally weakened by the water's downward percolation before operations began, or whether they were deliberately withheld from doing their normal job under the premise that "ignorance is bliss" when applying for the various mining permits.
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426. Skyepony (Mod)
STEREO Watches the Sun Blast Comet PanSTARRS Sun is on the left, Comet is closer to the satellite so it looks bigger than the earth (bright dot to the right of comet)

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oh dear...

Without "a few years" warning, humans currently have no capacity to stop an asteroid on a collision course with the planet, scientists told a Senate panel Wednesday.

"Right now we have no options," said former astronaut Ed Lu. "If you dont know where they are, there's nothing you can do."

Scientists are calling for continued funding and support for NASA satellites and observation programs that look for "near Earth objects." The scenario from Hollywood blockbuster Armageddon is on the minds of lawmakers after two hulking rocks exploded in the air over Russia in February. More than 1,000 people were injured, bringing the risks of future incidents

While scientists put the odds of asteroids one kilometer in diameter or larger colliding with the earth as "once every few thousand year" event, they said cuts in space funding to monitor and detect space rocks could have devastating consequences.
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting ScottLincoln:


The Mississippi isn't doing nearly as bad as it was from last fall into winter. We've had a few points reach flood stage so far this spring, especially near the confluence with the Ohio.

Has the Corps of Engineers reopened the closed parts?
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New Video of the destructive Tornado that struck Southern NSW/Northern Victoria.

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Quoting AussieStorm:

oh bugger, I wished it flowed into the Mississippi, since it needs a fairly large top up.


The Mississippi isn't doing nearly as bad as it was from last fall into winter. We've had a few points reach flood stage so far this spring, especially near the confluence with the Ohio.
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Quoting ncstorm:


i wonder why nea doesn't post these anymore?

Sheldon does what Sheldon does, and no one can explain what Sheldon does, including Sheldon. lol
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

The Red River of the North flows northward, into Canada.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_River_of_the_Nor th

oh bugger, I wished it flowed into the Mississippi, since it needs a fairly large top up.
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Quoting ncstorm:


i wonder why nea doesn't post these anymore?

Probably because a) it has been posted by others or b) he has a life and isn't able to be on the computer at all times to post it.
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Photo of last nights Southern NSW/Northern Victoria Tornado.
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417. VR46L
Quoting ncstorm:


i wonder why nea doesn't post these anymore?


LOL ...Cant think Why !
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Will that end up flowing down the mighty Mississippi river?

The Red River of the North flows northward, into Canada.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_River_of_the_Nor th
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415. VR46L
Quoting BahaHurican:
Evening all... just when I thought it was going to warm up, here comes another front... lol...

Today still managed to get quite warm, despite the general cloudiness. I'm starting to wonder when we'll stop seeing the weekly or bi-weekly easterly passage of cold fronts and begin the tropical wave season. Any signs of an AEW or a tropical wave in the ATL so far?

[I do know the normal start date is around 3 weeks away.... but still.... :o) ]


LOL your a bit early but....




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Quoting wxchaser97:
The new 6-10 day outlook is out. I had to check the date to make sure it was from today because it looks just like the last several ones.


i wonder why nea doesn't post these anymore?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16223
Quoting MrNatural:

Here is a news story on the subject from the Corpus Christi Caller Times. Windstorm association may be headed for receivership; some question timing, tactics

Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6156

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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