April showers bring May flowers….and some more showers! This seems to be the case for this year’s spring weather forecast.
After a slow start at the beginning of the spring weather season, it is anticipated that the U.S. will have an above average weather-activity season, with the threat of occurrence increasing through the spring. This is due to a few factors:
- This winter there was heavier snowfall in states where hail is prevalent (i.e., the Texas Winter Storm that had many in the state reeling)
- One of the main seasonal drivers, wind, and water patterns off the coast, is showing to be irregular with the water off the west coast being cooler than normal
- Temperatures are currently tracking above normal in the southeast and southcentral regions
Before unpacking what is expected regarding hail for this season, first let us look at what is forecasted around the country from a high-level view. April through June will hold something different for each region:
- Southwest: some brief cool weather here and there in the early season followed by typical summer heat. Predicated there will be worsening drought conditions and an early start to wildfire season
- Pacific Northwest and Mountain region: cooler start to spring with some mountain snow, and then becoming increasingly warm and dry later in the spring
- Northcentral: mostly warm spring with above-normal rainfall. The severe weather threat ramps up in the late spring
- Southcentral and plains: enhanced severe weather risks and above-normal temperatures
- Southeast: warmth not expected until later in the spring. Early season tropical risks with variable rainfall patterns expected
- Northeast: milder spring overall with rainfall increasing later in the spring
The Southcentral US, specifically, is expected to experience vast amounts of hail and severe weather due to the La Niña pattern. Research shows that tornadoes and hail are more frequent during La Niña springs. This year, there is an enhancement of the jetstream from west to east across the central and northern regions, with an additional enhancement of lower levels of pressure out of the gulf bringing warmth and moisture. There are also stronger than usual western winds. All these weather events combined are setting the country up for an above average severe weather season in this La Niña year.
Due to this, there is a focus area across the central plains that makes them a target for inclement weather. In particular, the cities predicated to be most at risk this season are:
- Dallas, TX
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Memphis, TN
- Cincinnati, OH
- St. Louis, MO
Do not be fooled by the quiet start to the season. Will your team be ready when inclement weather comes your way?