If you remember one year ago this week, Arkansas dealt with several rounds of severe weather and dozens of tornadoes. We also lost 12 of our fellow Arkansans due to those storms. We ended 2011 as the 4th most active year for tornadoes in recorded weather history with 75.
Fast forward to 2012 and it has been a different story. We started the severe weather season early on January 22nd with 7 tornadoes, but since then we have only had 2. Our yearly average is 33 so we're well below with less than one month to go in our primary severe weather season. The biggest story however is the fact NO ONE has died from a tornado this year in Arkansas. This is why I'm cautiously optimistic. We still have several hurdles to pass, but if we can make it to Dec. 31st without a fatality, it would be the first time since 2007 that has happened.
Those hurdles are as follows...
- We still have until mid May until our primary severe weather season winds down, but I don't see any major storm systems over the next few days.
- Tropical storm season will crank up soon. There are times when remnants of these storms can affect Arkansas and spawn tornadoes. Examples of that: Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008
- The secondary severe weather season this fall into early winter. This can be another active period with severe weather.