Climatologist expects an active tornado season for Alabama - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Climatologist expects an active tornado season for Alabama


A climatologist in north Alabama is predicting Alabama will have an active spring tornado season.

"My general rule here is to understand this. If it happened before it can happen again and probably worse," Dr. John Christy, the state climatologist and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said.

Christy said La Niña in the Pacific Ocean can impact where storms travel across the United States.

"They tend to form over Arkansas and travel up the Ohio Valley," Christy said. "Well the trailing cold front from those types of storms comes across Central Mississippi and Northern Alabama."

According to Christy, that cold air colliding with warm air from the Gulf of Mexico could be a powder keg for an active severe weather season. But not all meteorologists believe Alabamians will see deadly tornadoes like they did in 2011.

"This is not that year," Fox 6 Chief Meteorologist J-P Dice said.

He is constantly watching changing weather patterns and doesn't think central Alabama will see anything like it saw last spring.

"One of the first questions people come up to me and say ‘are we going to have another April 27th?' I don't think so," Dice said. "We may have typical tornado days where you see your EF1 and EF2's but as far as those monster storms, those things are in the 1-2% of all tornadoes produced on Earth."

Dice credits a warmer winter and shorter severe weather season for a less active tornado season.

"We're looking at the severe weather period happening right now through maybe mid to late April then we start to get real hot."

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