2013 holds a stormy future for the Heartland


New forecasts came out this week from the University of Missouri, Columbia pertaining to the tornado season.

"The upcoming projection for 2013 for severe weather in the tornado alley region is probably for a little less sever weather. Weâ??re not seeing as many storms cross that area and thatâ??ll mean fewer opportunities for severe weather,â?? said Tony Lupo Professor and Chair of Atmospheric Science.

While it is probable for less severe weather in tornado alley, it does appear that there will be a higher chance for severe weather off towards the east including Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. The prediction for this shift in storm activity is due to the changing sea temperatures in the pacific. Last year we experienced a weak La Nina and we are now transitioning into a neutral phase. As the waters change in the pacific, so do our weather patterns which has been noticeably different the past two years.

In 2012, high pressure had a stranglehold on the midwest. That means we had extremely warm conditions and we certainly did. We were very dry, hence why we had the drought across the region. Now, obviously in 2013 the sea surface temperatures have warmed a little bit and what that has done to the jet stream is it has pulled it back a little bit. Notice how we are on the other side of the jet stream now. That is allowing more storm traffic to move into our neck of the woods and if there is any indicator to show that that is true, take a look at this winter. Not only were we colder, but we saw a whole lot more snow accross the region. Now, with warmer temperatures we aren't going to see the snow. We'll definitely see more showers and thunderstorms and while the risk for severe weather will be higher, we will also see above average rainfall which is great news to all the farmers and ranchers out in the Heartland.

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