This year has already been an above average year for tornadoes, and the typical tornado season hasn't arrived in Oklahoma and Texas yet. But experts are expecting tornado season to begin soon, and it may be an extra-active season.

Peak tornado season in Oklahoma and Texas is usually during the spring, typically from April to June. But it's not unlikely for there to be tornadoes earlier in the year and all the way through October. This year, the United States has already had 126 confirmed tornadoes. Texas has had at least one every month since the beginning of the year, with two confirmed in March. And Oklahoma has only seen two, both in March.

On average, the United States sees over 1,200 tornadoes a year, according to the NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory. Oklahoma and Texas sit in the heart of Tornado Alley and are the most alert to this type of serve weather. Oklahoma sees an average of more than 50 tornadoes a year, and it's over double that for Texas. But when an extra-active tornado season is predicted, Okies and Texans don't take it lightly.

Weather will begin shifting in the United States.

Parts of the United States are getting ready to undergo a huge weather shift. According to the Climate Prediction Center in a statement issued March 14, 2024, a transition from the current El Nino to ENSO-neutral is likely from April to June, with the odds of a La Nina developing from June to August.

Why are weather experts predicting an extra-active tornado season?

The upcoming weather shift could play a big role in enhanced tornado activity during the main months of tornado season, according to an article from The Washington Post. The confirmed tornadoes so far from this year have mostly been in the Midwest, which is more active than normal for that area, while the southern states, where tornadoes are more common, has been quiet.

The warming climate has played a key role in it feeling like tornado season has been starting earlier and for the shift in where tornadoes are occurring. So with El Nino still present, it's normal for there to be a slower start to tornado season in the southern states.

In the article from The Washington Post, Professor of Meteorology at Northern Illinois University Victor Gensini, pointed out that the last week of March and first week of April could see a flare-up in storm activity for the southern United States, including Oklahoma and Texas.

Local meteorologists appear to already be monitoring a dip in the jet stream that will bring cooler air to the southern states along with severe weather. Most are stating that Sunday starting the last week of March is a day to be weather aware.

Here's what's expected for the rest of tornado season.

Again, the weather shift that's expected to happen from El Nino to La Nina could have a drastic affect, but according to Gensini when speaking with The Washington Post, this is difficult to predict. Gensini stated that we'll be coming out of a "very strong El Nino" quickly, and there isn't a lot of data on these types of events, but for the few available, they have posed "above-average activity."

If the subtropic jet stream during the transition from El Nino to La Nina dips into the west, it could make a "ripe zone for thunderstorms in the central United States," i.e. Tornado Alley. As in typical tornado season fashion, we'll just have to wait and see.

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