The Eric Factor: Severe weather season moves from south to north each year

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While it’s only been a week and a half since we did our last shoveling and ice-scraping, severe weather probably isn’t front and center on too many minds. And while we can get dangerous thunderstorms any time of the year, severe weather will become more likely as we head into Spring.

Did you know that severe weather season actually moves north each year? The season begins along the Gulf Coast from Houston to New Orleans in March. By April, places like Central Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee get in on the action. This is also the most likely time for tornadoes in “Dixie Alley,” the area from Memphis to Birmingham  most notable for the Super Outbreak of 2011.
severe weather expands
Prime time for tornadoes and severe weather here in the Quad Cities comes in late May and early June. The historic Parkersburg, Iowa EF-5 tornado occurred on May 25, 2008. By the time we get into late June and July, the fast-moving jet stream (a necessary ingredient for severe storms) moves north into Minnesota and Southern Canada. As that occurs, storm speed goes down which increases our flash flood threat into July and early August.

Click here to learn more about flash flooding; the most dangerous of all severe weather emergencies.

Do you have a severe weather plan? We will be highlighting the best safe places for you to think about in the days to come.

Have a good day, friends! -Meteorologist Eric Sorensen