2018 has been a rather inactive time for severe weather across middle Tennessee. Typically there have been around 15 tornadoes by the end of April.

This year there have been 4, all in the month of February, none in March and April. And Tennessee is not alone in the absence of any tornadic activity.

Both Kansas and Oklahoma have not had any tornadoes in March or April. In fact, Oklahoma has not had a tornado yet all year, which is about to set a record for the latest start of the severe weather season there.

So why the dearth of severe thunderstorms, let alone tornadoes?  It has to do with the upper level winds, or jet stream, which have been displaced far to the south this spring season.

This has kept colder, more stable air across much of the midwest and east. There have been a series of cold fronts which have reinforced this pattern over the last two months.

Consequently, moist, unstable air has been prevented from moving north into these areas to fuel any thunderstorms.

Will the pattern continue? There are currently no signs of any severe weather over the next week. 

However May can still be very active, as can early June, with rounds of severe weather if the pattern changes.

Let’s hope it stays fairly quiet.