We live in the most severe weather-prone continent on this planet.
The geographical set-up of the United States allows the mixture of the right ingredients to produce severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Weather moves from west to east.
The jet stream ushers in cold/dry air from Canada and the Rocky Mountain west.
We also have warm/dry air from the southwest.
This dry air interacts with our source of warm, moist air fed in from the Gulf of Mexico which primes the atmosphere for storms to initiate.
The portion of the US, where all the “right” ingredients set-up, is where a high frequency of severe storms brew.
When the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK see all these ingredients coming together for storm development, they issue severe weather outlooks several days in advance.
Those outlook risks are broken down into three categories, “Slight”, “moderate” and “high”. Slight is the lowest risk and “High” is the category reserved for the most extreme events.
To put this in perspective, a “high risk” was issued last November, when at least 70 tornadoes spanned seven Midwestern states, eight of which where located in the Wabash Valley.
But when it comes the most active time of year for severe storms… spring time is prime time.