David Payne's 2018 Spring Forecast: Tornado Season
Spring is just around the corner and it's time for my spring forecast for 2018.
Let's look back at 2017, when we were forecasting above average tornadoes. In Oklahoma, there were 72 tornadoes last spring. The average for spring is 47 tornadoes. In just the month of May 2017, we had 57 tornadoes in the state.
This past winter was heavily influenced by a weak La Nina pattern. It was cold and wet to our north and east. In Oklahoma, we did have some cold snaps, but it was a dry winter until we got into February.
La Niña will now weaken and fade away, but the effects will linger into spring.
Looking at past weak La Niña springs, those years we saw an average of 21 percent less tornadoes than the average spring.
For the 2018 spring forecast, I think we will see average precipitation across most of the state. As far as temperatures this spring, we are looking at above average.
Drought continues for the west and far northwest. We could see slightly above average tornadoes for March and April, but likely below average for May and June.
Overall, I think we see a below average count on tornadoes and summer arrives early.