What’s the weather: Severe weather season

Weather Authority University

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Fall isn’t just for leaf peeping here in the Southeast. We also have to be mindful of the fact that fall brings about our secondary severe weather season.

Why does severe weather happen again in fall?

First, we have to think about the dynamics of why we have our primary severe weather season during the spring.

As we get more sunlight, the temperatures rise, and the cold winter air begins its retreat to the north, the jet stream moves north as well.

This results in an exaggerated inflow of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico.

That warm Gulf air clashes with the colder air to the north. That interaction promotes the development of severe weather. 

In the fall, the interaction is similar, but the process is the opposite. 

During the fall, we’re still getting that flow of air from the Gulf, but now cold air is starting to drift back to the south.

Once again, we get that clash of warm and cold, dry and wet, and all of a sudden, severe weather becomes much more likely.

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