NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — April typically brings warmer temperatures and an increased risk of tornadoes to Middle Tennessee. However, no tornadoes touched down in Middle Tennessee in April 2022 and temperatures were cooler than average. Tennessee’s State Climatology office released its April Climate Report, and it was an unusual month in more ways than one.
William Tollefson, the Assistant State Climatologist for Tennessee said April was overall cooler than average, and much of that had to do with a couple of cold spells that brought chilly weather to the entire state, “Most of the state was one to two degrees below normal, a little bit cooler on the western end than the Eastern that was driven by a couple of strong cold spells throughout the month,” explained Tollefson.
While snow isn’t unheard of in April, it is still a little unusual to see flurries flying, which happened in Middle Tennessee on second week of April. “One of the big ones around April 9, we had a big cold front come through that even brought snow showers. I know parts of Middle Tennessee saw some snow showers,” said Tollefson.
In Middle Tennessee, areas on the Cumberland Plateau saw a few tenths of snow accumulation on April 9, with Fairfield Glade seeing 0.8″.
There were no tornadoes in Middle Tennessee in April, and this trend of fewer than average tornadoes has been in place state-wide for all of 2022. Tollefson, “
Throughout the whole year, Tennessee so far has only had four tornadoes, which is pretty low compared to our normal by this time,” explained Tollefson.
While the cooler weather may have dampened the tornado threat, luck and La Niña may also have had a hand in the lack of tornado activity.
“I think we just got a little bit lucky with some of those storm tracks that they didn’t quite have enough power to create those tornadoes in Tennessee,” said Tollefson. “Further south, Mississippi and Alabama have been hit really hard so far. So that could potentially be due to the LA Nina pattern. If the jet stream is a little bit stronger than normal kind of dipping further south. Those stronger storms would be closer to the coast in the Gulf of Mexico.”
There was also an interesting rainfall trend in April. Areas north of Interstate 40 were wetter than average while southern counties were drier.
So what’s ahead for the summer months? NOAA is forecasting above-average temperatures and equal chances for above or below-average rainfall. You can see the entire summer outlook here.