What a difference a few years can make.. This week is the 4 year anniversary of the tornado outbreak of April 16th, 2011 in the Carolinas. Which was the biggest in the states history. That was just one of many severe weather events back in April 2011. We had 2 tornado outbreaks a derecho and a baseball size hail event all within in about a 3 week period that April.
Now contrast that with the last year when almost no severe weather has been present. In the WCNC viewing area, we have had a grand total of 5 tornado warnings since the beginning of April 2012. Not tornadoes just tornado warnings. Which is an incredibly small number for this part of the country.
For comparison, we average about 78 severe weather reports in the month of April in our area. That includes hail, damaging winds and tornado reports.
Take a look at the crazy changes from April 2011 to this April so far. These are warnings just from the National Weather services offices of Greenville-Spartanburg(GSP), Columbia(CAE), Blacksburg(RNK) and Raleigh(RAH). These are the offices that cover the wCNC viewing area.
RED = Tornado Warnings
Yellow = Severe T-Storm Warnings
Green = Flood Warnings
Talk about a huge drop-off, the difference from 2011 to 2014 is just amazing and it wasn’t just locally either. Nationally here’s a look at Severe thunderstorm Watches and Tornado Watches issued by The Storm Prediction center for the years 2011-2014. The top 2 maps in each year are the watches by county and the bottom 2 are departures from average.
What does it all mean?
Every year is different and things have been incredibly quiet the past year and 4 months. Things can change quickly and you shouldn’t let your guard down due to the recent break in the severe weather we are having.
Do you have a plan for severe weather? If not make one right now.
Make sure you have multiple ways to get warnings even when you are outside the house or traveling.
A good start is to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google + for the latest on severe weather potential and warnings.
It’s a good time to review all these precautions and plans as things start to get active especially next week.