April is traditionally the beginning of the primary severe weather season in the Carolinas. While we can get severe weather year round, April is the beginning of the peak time which runs through August. According to our weather records the primary season runs from March 30th-August 26th. The peak day is actually May 6th which on average has produced 6.2 reports of severe weather in the western Carolinas.
The monthly averages for severe weather reports break down like this. April 78, May 145, June 130, August 69. We can also tell you the peak time of day that severe weather is reported is 6pm with 14% of all reports coming in from that time.
Though it should be noted that the peak time of day for severe weather does run from 6pm to about midnight. We tend to get lots of evening & night time severe weather in the Carolinas. Here are the various tables that further break down the number of severe weather reports and their averages. I should point out that reporting of severe weather is greatly skewed by populations density and technology. It’s kind of like the question, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around does it make a noise? Well when it comes to severe weather if it occurs around a lot of people with cell phones & cameras it gets reported & documented. Doppler radar also helps fill in the gaps because it allows us to see severe weather over a large area.
Here’s a map of all the tornado tracks though 2005.
For additional resources on severe weather reports and climatology check out the Storm Prediction Center online data base.