Severe storms slashed across Nebraska and several other states in the region this week, prompting concerns about what sort of season may be ahead this spring and summer.
Brian Smith, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service bureau in Valley, says if the early start to rough weather is any indication, we may be in for a punishing few months.
“Some of the climate outlooks say we’re going to be warmer than normal, which means to me that we’re going to get more moisture and warmth coming up here,” Smith says. “So, if we start getting into an active weather pattern at the same time, then definitely, we’re probably going to see more severe weather events.”
Tornadoes touched down in several states in recent days, including Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri and there were at least ten tornadoes in Iowa on Monday. Some areas had significant damage. Smith says last year was a less active year for severe weather in Nebraska, but there were still notable storms.
“The tornadoes were small but they all occured in city areas like Omaha and Lincoln,” Smith says. “We’ll see what happens. If we get an active weather pattern then we definitely could get more storms.”
Smith gave a weather spotter training session Thursday night at the Homestead National Monument of America, west of Beatrice.
May and June are typically the busiest months for tornadoes in Nebraska. Twisters often occur between mid-afternoon to early evening though he warns, tornadoes can happen anytime during the year and at any time of day.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice