The 2013 tornado season is off to a slow start so far there as of this writing have only been 187 confirmed tornadoes. March averages 100 tornadoes most of them usually occur in the Southern US. March only had 18 tornadoes. April normally has close to 200 tornadoes this year it has only seen 57 tornadoes. April is usually when tornado activity spreads into the plains and Ohio River Valley area. Despite the below average activity people should not let their guard down. May and June are the top two tornado months across the USA. What has kept the tornado activity down is caps building in the atmosphere that keeps thunderstorms from rising to create updrafts needed for tornadoes.
A similar pattern occurred in 2002. March and April where below average in tornado activity. A lot of people in 2002 thought most areas had gotten lucky. 2002 is notable for late season tornado outbreaks that proved to be deadly. In 2002 Late spring and into the Fall the Months June-November were deadly. 2002 despite its slow start ended up with close to 1000 tornado reports which is the average across the USA.
2002 is infamous for a deadly late fall tornado outbreak that impacted the states of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. One region that was hit hard was East Tennessee. This tornado outbreak is called the Veterans day outbreak. It produced over 80 tornadoes. In east Tennessee it is known as the Plateau outbreak. Tornadoes formed on the Plateau and moved into the Tennessee Valley. Deadly Tornadoes also struck Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio.
What happened in 2002 was the cap broke and thunderstorms could tap the warm air needed for tornadoes. So far in 2013 the cap has not broken but when it does the tornadoes will come. Sometimes as we saw in 2002 they can come in bunches. A good lesson as 2002 taught us was don't let you guard down as tornadoes can occur in any month given the ripe conditions. Sometimes you can get late season tornadoes as seen in 2002.