Warm Weather That’s Spawning U.S. Tornadoes Isn’t Budging
(Bloomberg) -- The weather pattern that unleashed two waves of tornadoes across the central U.S. this month isn’t going anywhere, raising the potential for more storms ahead.
Energetic storms sweeping in off the Pacific Ocean and then mixing with warm, almost spring-like moist air across central U.S. led to a deadly outbreak of tornadoes a week ago and a wave of hurricane-like winds on Wednesday, leaving a path of destruction from New Mexico to the Great Lakes. Wednesday’s storm killed at least five people, according to Associated Press, while last week’s death toll was at least 89, mostly in Kentucky.
“The overall pattern that has supported the recent severe outbreaks isn’t changing a lot,” said Bob Oravec, a senior branch forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center. “The potential does exist for more severe weather than is typical for this time of year.”
Oravec said that doesn’t mean another storm is primed and ready to blast across the U.S., though if one should develop it could bring more mayhem.
Winter across the central U.S. has been mild and many meteorologists have said the lack of cold fronts sweeping through the Great Plains and Mississippi Valley has left a reservoir of warm, moist air at low levels -- a key building block for creating violent storms. In addition, the lack of cold pushing into the Gulf of Mexico has left that body of water running above normal.
“There is still a lot of potential as we go forward,” Oravec said.
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