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United States in tornado drought since start of 2015

Chris Burton

Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 1:45 -

The 2015 US tornado season has got off to a record-breaking quiet start with no twisters so far reported anywhere in the country during March.

By March 23, between 100-200 tornadoes would usually be reported to the US Weather Service since the start of the year, but there have been only been 28 since the beginning of 2015 – a record low.

The US Weather Service has only had to issue 4 tornado watches across the whole country so far this year.

Most of this year’s tornadoes occurred during a severe outbreak of thunderstorms at the start of January across the south-east United States, with only two tornadoes spotted during the entire month of February.

Only 28 tornadoes have been reported so far this year - a new record low. Image: US Weather Service

Only 28 tornadoes have been reported so far this year - a new record low. Image: US Weather Service

The tornado drought is thought to have been caused be the record-breaking cold much of the eastern US experienced through February and into early March.

Persistent arctic outbreaks from the Canadian Arctic prevented warm, moist air from moving into the United States from the Gulf of Mexico.

An unstable atmosphere and warm, moist air are the perfect conditions for severe thunderstorms to occur, from which tornadoes can form.

Despite the subdued start to this year’s tornado season, the number of severe thunderstorms is likely to increase as we move into the usual tornado season during April and May.

The US Weather Service was warning of an enhanced severe thunderstorm risk across Missouri, northern Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma on Tuesday afternoon, which could give this month’s first reported tornadoes.

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Tornado Alley in the central United States is well know for being the tornado capital of the world.

It is centred on northern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska and during tornado season, which typically runs through spring, hundreds of tornadoes are reported there each year.

2008 was the most active year for tornadoes on record in the US, with 2194 twisters reported across the country.

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