Good morning bloggers,

It has been a very active severe weather season from southeastern Oklahoma east to Georgia over the south and southeastern USA.  Take a look at the risks today and then on Friday, which is May 1:

As you can see above, May will begin quite quiet.  And, there is not a risk showing up in KC at all.  We have analyzed each cycle of the LRC, and this pattern has just been fascinating, unique, unlike anything we have ever seen before.  This is the nature of the LRC, as every year is different. This pattern has its characteristics.  It is just almost impossible for me to believe that February 12th was the last measurable snow in KC this past winter.  This fact is likely a result of the positive Arctic Oscillation that continues to this day.  With this said, about this past winter, the same pattern continues to cycle into May, and it will continue through September, and then we can throw this pattern out and start a brand new one in October.  So, in looking back at each cycle, the potential for severe weather set ups over tornado alley will develop as we move into the second half of May. This first half will be quite quiet.

2019 Tornado Watches

Look at last year:  All of the 2019 tornado watches are plotted above.  My biggest shocking take away is that northern Missouri did not have one tornado watch all of 2019, and an area over eastern Nebraska was also free of any tornado watches all of last year. Doesn’t that just blow your mind?  Now, let’s look at this year’s watches so far, in these first four months of the year.

2020 Tornado Watches

The first take away is that the area near the Iowa border had a major snow a couple of weeks ago, and they already had 1 more tornado watch than the 0 they had last year.  And, Kansas has been pretty much tornado watchless in 2020 thus far, with no chance of a watch for a while.  WOW!

And, look at the climatology for severe weather on April 30:

So, for it to be so quiet across Kansas to end April, and begin May, is quite unusual.  Gerard Jebaily, storm chaser and KSHB meteorologist, tells me, “we always have a chance of significant severe weather in the first week of May.  And, I always say, “always, Gerard. Are you sure?”.  Not always, and right now it is quiet as we move through the next few days.  There still will be risks south and southeast of KC, but for now, this first half of May looks fairly quiet in the heartland!

Cooler air is moving in.  Have a great Wednesday.  I hope you are all doing well in this difficult and challenging time around the world.  Have a great day.


Gary Lezak

Author Gary Lezak

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Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Avatar skyev3 says:

    Do we know what exactly caused the strong winds last night? There were reports of 60-70mph winds with that band of showers that moved through around 9-10pm.

    • Gary Lezak Gary Lezak says:

      Yes! There was a band of showers that was convective in nature, but not quite thunderstorms. They were tracking in a band northwest of Leavenworth to Topeka. A series of gravity waves must have moved through the showers pulsing them up and intensifying them, and then right near Leavenworth to Topeka they collapsed and weakened to little rain showers as they dissipated and spread out the wind along the path. The downdrafts from the collapsing showers brought the wind down from 15,000 feet to the surface and caused the stronger winds. By the time it got into the metro area the wind was decreasing to under 50 mph, and by the time it was east of downtown the winds were down to 40 mph gusts.

      • Avatar skyev3 says:

        That’s so interesting, I can’t imagine trying to predict something like that! It feels like there’s been a lot of unique little setups around us for the last few weeks.

      • Avatar Curtis Lange says:

        I waited outside for them to arrive in western Olathe. It was incredible listening to the winds come blowing in; it went from calm then slowly started to build until the main show arrived. The high winds sounded like a car racing down the road as it blew through the trees. Definitely was a fun experience!

    • Avatar Hume Dude says:

      Couldnt those winds have been associated with the MCS that was just leaving the area?
      Ive seen where they create a mini low and then the air is rushing in to fill that void. Also, there was a wave of storms that had fallen apart associated with that wind, maybe those storms collapsed and caused a downburst type event? Or those storms were riding a vort lobe rotstimg around the parent Low, and combined with the mixing provided by front allowed atmospheric winds to mix down?

  • Avatar Samuel Jeffers says:

    We have definitely had more exciting LRCs, but so long as the moisture keeps coming I can be content.

  • Avatar Matt Galvin says:

    Their were 2 Tornado Warnings yesterday in Southeast KS in the Tornado Watch. If Saturday’s Rain is some how not over night better chance of a Watch here.

  • Avatar ArvadaBoy says:

    Hi Gary- regarding the tornados in the southeast with this LRC- last fall October 21- there were tornados around Memphis Airport in the 7-8am time frame. Then earlier in this year -march 3- Nashville had the EARLY morning tornados. Those days are 133 days apart. 133 days from October 21 is May 7. 6o days from March 3 is May 2. Maybe some bad weather next week in the mid-south from Sat May 2 – Friday May 8th?

  • Avatar Snow Miser says:

    There’s only 239 days until Christmas.

    Already looking forward to the next LRC. This one seems kinda boring so far.

  • Avatar Ted in STJOE says:

    Warmer today. 80 Friday it is only May 1, 2020. Putting winter clothes in the back closet and pulling out summer clothes.