December 26, 2014

Climatologist sees severe weather giving way to mild (AUDIO)

Severe storms have caused widespread damage in northeastern Nebraska, but the remainder of the summer looks mild to a state climatologist.

State Climatologist Ken Dewey with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says June could well set a state record for tornadoes.

“June 16, the day of the Pilger tornado, we had 15 tornado reports. June 17, we had 23 tornado reports and there were tornadoes again up in that same area,” Dewey tells Jack and Dave in the Morning on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.

In all, 63 tornado reports have been made in June. Dewey says some of those might be duplicates. Still, he expects the final tally to break the record of 48 tornadoes in June in Nebraska.

As for why the northeastern region of Nebraska has been hit so hard this month, Dewey calls it the bad luck of the draw when all the conditions necessary for tornadoes come together in one area.

It has happened before.

Dewey recalls the fearsome tornado that struck Hallam in 2004. Dewey says volunteers helping with recovery twice had to seek shelter, because tornadoes returned to threaten the town. He says severe weather patterns sometime get stuck.

Dewey says the computer models predict mild weather ahead with plenty of rain.

“Although we could have a prolonged period of four or five days, maybe up to a week of heat and no rain and it will seem like we’re going to go into drought, there is absolutely no indication in any of the computer models at this time that we’re going to go into a prolonged period, meaning more than a week, without precipitation.”

There is also no indication of excessive heat, according to Dewey.

AUDIO:  Brent Martin reports [:50]