Is Kansas City next in line for this year’s Twister Epidemic?
St. Louis, Tennessee, Alabama – the 2011 tornado season has started with a bang. Yet we here in Wizard of Oz country have yet to see hide nor hair of a funnel cloud.
Are we in the lull before the storms?
"This is going to be an all-time record for tornadoes for a single month for the month of April," says KSHB TV weather wonk Gary Lezak. "And the tornado outbreak we had today, April 27th, in Alabama, will go down as one of the worst in U.S. history. I know there were 140 tornado reports today as of 10 p.m. And there will probably be another 10 or 20 more by midnight."
As for KC missing out on the action thus far
"That’s good, we don’t want tornadoes here," Lezak says. "But the weather pattern thus far is just set up to get the Southeast."
Kansas City does have the distinction of setting the 2011 storm season in motion, Lezak notes.
"Remember the large hail on April 3rd?" Lezak says. "That was the first severe storm of the month in the nation. And today is the 9th straight day with a tornado – I don’t think that’s ever happened before in April. But it has probably happened in May or June – I’m sure it has."
All that said, don’t rule out KC getting its fair share of twisters before the season ends.
"The average tornado season here cuts off June 15th or so," Lezak says. "Severe weather can continue into the summer but the jet stream weakens. So we still have seven more weeks that we have to watch it closely. And I suspect we will have three or four days with serious tornado threats because the average here is three or four serious threats every year. We really haven’t had one yet – the cold air has been a blessing for Kansas City. Now as we go into the month of May…"