March is usually when tornado season begins, but it’s been really quiet this year.
There wasn’t a single tornado in Georgia or its neighboring states last month, according to Jordan McLeod, who’s with the Southeast Regional Climate Center in Chapel Hill.
“It looks like this March will be the first on record since 1950 that there have not been any reported tornadoes,” said McLeod. That’s when the record-keeping began.
It’s partially thanks to the same weather pattern that’s causing California’s drought and the Northeast’s cold winter. The jet stream is shooting up over a ridge of high pressure on the West Coast – so they’re not getting any rain – then it comes back down from the arctic and hits the Northeast with the cold.
“It’s a pattern that is not conducive to bringing warm air and moisture across those parts of the country that would normally experience severe storms this time of year,” said Greg Carbin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center.
“As long as that remains in place especially in the cool season it will suppress widespread thunderstorms,” Carbin said.
As it warms up over the next couple months, Carbin said those storms could start rolling in. And, he added, what’s happened so far this year isn’t necessarily an indication of what will happen next.
“Just like the stock market, you can’t really predict the future based on what’s occurred.”