KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The days are getting longer, and the temperatures are gradually getting warmer. If we haven’t had our last snowflakes of the season, then that day is likely near.
With the warmer days will come higher humidity, and with higher moisture levels, thunderstorms will be getting stronger.
Tornado Alley has been quiet since May 28, 2019. On that late May day, we had an EF4 tornado (nearly 200 mph or stronger) destroy parts of Linwood, Kansas.
This tornado was heading right toward Kansas City, but it weakened, lifted and spared the higher population center.
There has not been a tornado watch in parts of the KC metro area since that day, or almost three full years.
The way the weather pattern has set up each year has been protecting a large part of Tornado Alley. The LRC (Lezak’s Recurring Cycle, as named by bloggers 20 years ago) has set up in such a way that has kept big severe weather risks away from Oklahoma and Kansas for years.
Oklahoma and Kansas have more tornadoes per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Why? Because of where we are east of the Rocky Mountains and north of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Gulf provides warm and moist air, fuel for the strongest thunderstorms on earth, and the Rocky Mountains provide the northern, southern mountain range. These features are unique to the United States.
The LRC set up differently this year. The cycling pattern sets up each fall around the beginning of October. When it set up this year, there were big severe weather risks between Oct. 9 and Oct. 13.
Suddenly, there were three dozen tornadoes in Kansas after being quiet since that big Linwood tornado. Then, the pattern returned in December and produced two more big tornado days.
Mayfield, Kentucky, had a deadly long-track tornado on Dec.10, 2021, that devastated the town, killing 56 people.
Five days later, a record-shattering tornado day was recorded with tornadoes reported near the Iowa/Minnesota border where there had never been a December tornado reported ever before.
This shows us that this year’s LRC is likely going to produce some big severe weather days, and they will be closer to Kansas City.
There are around four parts of the pattern we now have high confidence that will be close to big severe weather outbreaks.
The two big ones are expected around April 20 and May 8. The pattern is cycling, and it oscillates a bit. These are likely two-to-four-day severe weather risks that will track across the U.S.
We are forecasting above-average temperatures this spring and near average rainfall. This means that we will have around 14 inches of rain between now and the end of June.
In between these storm systems will be some great spring weather. We will be keeping you updated with Kansas City’s most accurate forecast this spring.
We again brought you the most accurate forecast for the winter snowfall amounts — the LRC helps us predict these storm systems far in advance.
Let’s prepare now. Have your family practice your severe weather plan!