It still surprises some people when we get severe weather in the fall and winter, but it's very common for this to happen. We call this time of year our "secondary severe weather season". However, there have been years when there are more tornadoes in the fall than in the spring.
This fall concerns me due to the evolving El Nino pattern and the tendency for more frequent storm systems to race through this area of the country. So far this year, officially, there have been 14 tornadoes in Arkansas. This is well below the average of 33. In Arkansas, it can only take a few hours to change this statistic and for it to go above average.
I'll never forget the late November outbreak in 2005 when a tornado outbreak affected much of western and central Arkansas. Barry Brandt and I were on the air for hours and hours tracking those storms.
In November of 1983, Arkansas was playing SMU (if my memory serves me correctly) at War Memorial. We had a tornado warning in effect for Pulaski county during the game. I'll never forget the phone call from my dad after the twister struck his business. He said, "we're ruined". 1 month later, we had a major outbreak of cold air and ice on the ground for days around Christmas. My point, we can get some very wild weather this time of year and we all need to be weather aware.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE FALL SEVERE WEATHER SEASON FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE IN NORTH LITTLE ROCK, CLICK HERE.
|Graphic from the National Weather Service office in Little Rock showing the November 27th tornado outbreak of 2005.|
|2010 Tornado statistics from the Storm Prediction Center. Notice the spike in late October into November in the amount of severe weather.|
|Here's another example of an increase in the fall of 2005. There's a noticeable spike in November.|
|This is data from the SPC. Notice this year the number of tornadoes across the United States so far is well under what happened in 2011 and is below the annual average.|