June Severe Weather Outlook

5 06 2013

We always wonder how each month will play out when it comes to severe weather.  Last month, May, gave us a huge surprise toward the end by becoming very active after being very slow.  We saw this active pattern coming and now it looks like things have leveled off.  The question is how will June play out?  Will it be like May or the complete opposite or maybe completely different?

We have been doing a study based upon specific severe weather criteria dating back to 1955 and figured out how many severe weather days occur each year.  We found some interesting statistics about June that we will be sharing with you.

First thing we noticed is that each decade has had more and more severe weather days on average up to 2000-2009.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that we are seeing more severe weather it just means we are able to detect it better and have more observers in recent years than back in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Overall the past 58 years, the nation sees, on average, 21 severe weather days in June.  Looking at more recent years from 1990 to now the average is about 26 days out of 30 days in June.  That is a lot of severe weather days and second highest active month in the year.  However, we noticed a decline in severe weather activity last year when from 2004-2011 almost each day was a severe weather day.  Last year, we only had 16 severe weather days across the nation and it is looking like this year might be below or near-below average in severe weather.

What about Alabama?  Alabama is seeing the same trend when the past 6 years prior to 2012 there were 10 or more severe weather days.  In 2012, Alabama saw only 4 severe weather days.  So for Alabamians we will most likely only see about as much as we did last year give or take 1 or 2 days.  Alabama’s overall June average is about 6 severe weather days per.

We decided to go a step further and try to figure out which days are more likely to see a severe weather day.  This doesn’t hold as much of a solid ground as previously discussed data because atmospheric conditions are not factored in it.  Based on statistics so far for the United States, June 5 and June 13 are two days that severe weather has occurred quite frequently where each has about an 83% of seeing severe weather.  As interesting as this is, it isn’t as important as the trend we see.  From June 5 – June 16 and June 20 – June 23 have the highest percentages of seeing severe weather of 70% or more.  Towards the end of the month, it lessens quite a bit to nearly a 50/50 chance.

For Alabama, June 19 – June 22 and June 24 – June 28 have some of the better chances of having a severe weather day.

This is still a work in progress and it’s just a scratch of the surface.  We are testing it as we go and will see how things play out and will continue to add things as we carry on with it.  So enjoy on what looks to be a near average of 15 – 20 severe weather days for the nation and 3 – 5 for Alabama.

Senior Meteorologist Michael Vasquez