TORNADO SEASON IN ARKANSAS
While tornadoes and severe storms can happen at anytime of the year, storms are more likely in certain areas and at certain times of the year.
The movement of the peak of storm season is due to jet streams, which are flows of wind high up above the atmosphere. These strips of heavy winds impact earth’s climate because they push air masses around, affecting weather patterns in much the same way from year to year.
During the cooler months of the year and extending into spring, the jet streams tend to run through the southern parts of the country. As the poles warm, the jet streams move northward and to the west during the summer months.
These jet streams are responsible for “steering” the weather, which is how hot and cold air meet. When they collide they form a pinwheel that rotates. The heat will continue to build underneath until it punches through the cap, which turns the pinwheel on its side. The mass of rotating clouds that this creates is called a mesocyclone, which can then spawn a tornado.
Arkansas–being a southern state that is also located towards the central United States–is highly susceptible to storms and tornadoes during its peak season in spring, but also throughout most of the year. It is located within an area that is nicknamed the Dixie Alley. This region of southern states is perceived as particularly vulnerable to violent, long-track tornadoes just about all year long. For example, there is a secondary peak season usually in November when the new cold season sets back in, mixing with the moist humid remnants of summer. Though fewer tornadoes are likely during the secondary peak season, there is still a high chance of tornadoes during this time.
April is the month with the most tornadoes in Arkansas due to the warm Gulf air carried up and colliding with the cold Arctic air. These conditions can cause mesocyclones and develop into full-fledged tornadoes that leave damage in their wake.
The summer months are comparatively calm due to the movement of the jet stream northward. However, it is worth noting that tornadoes can happen at anytime of year, so be aware of the signs of a tornado, as well as how to protect your family before, during, and after a storm.
Finally, here are some additional facts about Arkansas tornadoes between January 13, 1950 through December 28, 2015 (according to the TornadoHistoryProject.com):
Now that you know that storms can happen at anytime of year, this means you always have to be prepared. There is no better time than now to install a storm shelter, safe room, or outdoor cellar to protect you and your family during all of Arkansas’ seasons. Contact Shelter Solutions of Arkansas today!