The winter season was incredibly mild across the United States. States that are usually buried in snow by early November were surprised to get through December without much ice or snow to speak of. Now, as the season is supposedly coming to an end, severe winter storms threaten to overtake most states. Once Americans get through this unprecedented snowy season, that impacted all 254 of Texas’ counties, they’ll have to contend with a stormy spring due to La Nina. The water in the Pacific Ocean near the equator is too cool, which set off nasty winter storms. Early predictions indicate that La Nina will be present in spring weather patterns and indicate a volatile stormy season in Tornado Alley.
La Nina is a weather pattern that occurs in the Pacific Ocean. It creates strong winds and blows warm water at the ocean’s surface. This forces cold water to rise, which causes the Southwestern United States to be drier. La Nina is the sister atmospheric phenomenon to El Nino that typically produces a warm front.
The La Nina weather pattern will likely impact the entire United States. The North will experience a wet spring, and the South and Central US will experience dry conditions.
Experts predict that many severe storms will come out of Tornado Alley in the springtime. The occurrence of storms will only increase if cold fronts move south from Canada and the Northern United States. The U.S. is also experiencing slightly more precipitation than usual which also suggests more storms in the spring.
Tornado Alley covers the area from Northern Iowa to Central Texas. Although, there is a lot of debate about how far the actual boundaries extend. Some suggest that the term “Tornado Alley” encompasses 19 states. Regardless, the upcoming spring storms have the potential to impact nearly 50 million people.
Severe Weather in the South
The sudden pressure drop over Canada and the northwestern United States starts when La Nina instigates a high-pressure system in the North Pacific. The pressure drop sends a cold front down the corridor to the south-central United States. When the cold front meets warm air from the Gulf of Mexico it can create severe storms. The combination of turbulent thermal and wind energy can create the perfect conditions for tornadoes.
The Southwest will also likely be warm and dry this spring. The south-central United States will likely contend with an uptick in severe weather in mid to late spring. Southern states may also experience drought conditions.
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