While Nebraska recorded its first tornado of the year last weekend, the severe storm season has been slow to start, mostly due to lingering cool temperatures.
Meteorologist Brian Smith, at the National Weather Service office in Valley, says much of the current pattern is a hold-over weather pattern from last year.
“We’ve been locked in this dry pattern and there’s a lot of concern about having another dry year,” Smith says. “A lot of times, drought years, there’s more than one. Farmers are worse off this year because they don’t have the subsoil moisture that they did last year.”
On the plus side, Smith says the dry, cold pattern we’ve been experiencing is holding down the development of severe weather, for the most part.
“If you get locked in a certain pattern, where you’ve got one storm system after another storm system going through, then the chances are you’ll have more tornadoes,” Smith says. “But if we’re like last year, we had an early severe weather season in March and April and then it just shut off as the heat built in and the drought persisted.”
Nebraska’s first confirmed tornado of 2013 struck last Friday night in a rural area of western Nebraska. The twister was spotted some three miles west of Sutherland, then moved east toward Hershey.
No damage and no injuries were reported.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton