Dry and quiet now, but severe weather season is not over yet!

A strong area of high pressure near the Gulf Coast keeps the weather quiet around here for a few days, but we do expect some rain again for the end of the week.  Rainfall from Thursday night to Friday night likely ranges from as little as 0.30" to as much as 1.10" (most of us somewhere in between).  The threat of severe storms looks tiny; a few heavier storms are possible, but the odds of widespread strong or severe thunderstorms are not very good at all.

When does 'severe weather season' end? Storm Prediction Center climatology from 1980 to 2006 shows our historical 'peak' of the severe weather season comes on May 4th.

Shelf cloud over Scottsboro (Photo: Joey Hinkle)

Now that we are past that, the odds may go down some, but we don't really come out of tornado season until the end of May.

We can have some whoppers of storms in June, July and August, but those are generally driven by daytime heating or weak disturbances instead of the robust storm systems of springtime.

Tornado season does not extend to the summer months, but you know how it works if you've been here for more than a summer or two!  We can have tornadoes in any month; they're just much less common without the larger-scale storm systems driving the thunderstorms.

Some of those summer storms can be the worst weather you'll get all year; the worst part is that they can sneak up on you without much warning because of how they develop and how quickly they fall apart.

Severe weather season doesn't really 'end': The band of active weather that brings our 'tornado season' from February to May shifts north over time as the seasons progress from Spring to Summer.  Why then do we see an uptick in 'severe' storms in the SPC climatology in early summer?

SPC severe probability based on climatology

The northwesterly flow around a strengthening 'ridge' (broad, hot 'high' over the southern part of the country) brings waves of heavy storms that feed off the building heat and humidity of early summer.  These more often than not come in long lines of heavy storms that move out of the Midwest toward Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas; they are usually big wind-makers!

The really nasty severe storms with the higher tornado, large hail and extreme wind threats (supercells) become less likely around here from May to June and July.  Places like Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas get slammed because they are closer to the storm track.

Some of those storms dumped huge hail in Colorado on Monday afternoon; see some of the damage done in the Denver area from our sister station KDVR here: 'Hail break windows, windshields in Lakewood and Golden.

No matter what time of year storms happen, we've got you covered! Track heavy storms with WHNT.com's Interactive Radar or swipe over to the radar feature on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
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