This year, we have already seen a few tornadoes and in a few places, you typically wouldn’t think. Shortly after the start of the year, we had two tornadoes that were reported in California.
The Golden State averages around 11 twisters per year compared to our 96 here in Kansas.
Alabama also experienced a devastating tornado that occurred at night. It was an EF-3 tornado that hit Fultondale late in the month of January. The Deep South is actually where we see an uptick in severe storms and tornadoes this time of year.
Last weekend, we had a tornado reported a few miles south of Coffeyville. This prompted the Wichita National Weather Service to issue a tornado warning for the Kansas side. Did you know that it was before at least 1986 since a tornado warning was issued in January for their coverage area? In addition, the same office only issued a total of two tornado warnings in all of last year! We are already halfway there in 2021 and our severe weather season has not even begun yet.
This winter, we have been under the influence of La Nina with the cooling of the waters off the coast of Peru. Our weather pattern has remained active and is showing no signs of slowing down. Historically, La Nina years have produced more tornadoes across the country. Look at this map. The blue lines outweigh the years where El Nino was present or a Neutral Phase to the pattern.
As we are every severe weather season, we need to be on guard and stay weather aware. Severe weather can strike anywhere and at any time if the right ingredients come together. Have multiple ways at your disposal to get warnings during the day and night.
You can download our free KSN Storm Track 3 weather app by visiting https://www.ksn.com/mobile/.
Know that I and the rest of the weather team will always have an eye to the sky to keep you and your family safe.
–Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman