Tornado season could start this weekend

Tornado season could start this weekend
Wikimedia/ National Weather Service

Looks like we could be in for some serious weather this weekend. Writing at, meteorologist Eric Holthaus says the tornado season is about to really heat up.

“The National Weather Service is saying ‘strong tornadoes are possible’ during a ‘significant multi-day severe event’ set to begin this weekend from Texas to Tennessee.

“According to the Storm Prediction Center, the tornado forecasting branch of the National Weather Service, a lingering low-pressure center will emerge from the southern Rockies on Saturday and quickly grow in strength. By Saturday evening, the storm will tap into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, kicking off a round of supercell thunderstorms with the potential to spawn a swath of tornadoes. The threat will move slightly east on Sunday, and then into the Deep South on Monday. The pattern is being held in place by an intense high-pressure block thousands of miles away in northeast Canada. In addition to possible tornadoes, large hail and heavy rains will be in the forecast for several days.​”

Although severe weather can happen anytime, April really marks the start of the severe weather season. The cold temperatures East of the Rockies have  contributed to the slowest start in 99 years, according to Tom Skilling. But, that may be about to change. The  outbreak this weekend could occur late on  Saturday night from Texas to Kansas, according to Accu-Weather.

Tornadoes can strike close to home, too.  Ten years ago, on April 20, a tornado touched down in Utica, IL, near where I grew up. My brother was one of the first responders on the scene.  Here is Julia Keller’s beautifully-written, Pulizer-Prize winning report from the Chicago Tribune. If you have time, please read it.

Most recently,  we remember  the  late-season outbreak of  tornadoes that struck downstate, particularly Washington, IL  on November 17 last year. This was one of the main topics at the Severe Weather Seminar at Fermilab on April 5.

Now is a good  time to  prepare for the season ahead.  Do you have a weather radio?  Don’t forget your pets.  Accu-Weather also offers these safety tips.



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  • The news was also bringing up Oak Lawn-Belvidere (April 1967).

    But isn't it always tornado season in Oklahoma?

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for stopping by, Jack. Yes, the Oak Lawn-Belvidere tornado outbreak is probably the best known, here. It happened just a few months after the Blizzard of 1967, too.

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Speaking of "it's always tornado season in Oklahoma," Phil Schwartz had a promo for a tornado special (6 p.m. Sat., Channel 7.1) where he interviewed a meteorologist from an Oklahoma City television station who was on the air when he realized that a Moore tornado was heading directly to his house, but fortunately, his wife headed to a safe room.

  • Good reminders. We do have a weather radio. Thanks for a timely post!

  • Thanks, Weather Girl. I appreciate your, well, seriouness about these things -- a great complement to the forecasters (as well as a compliment to you).

  • From State and Monroe
    To the streets of Laredo,
    Ready, set, go,
    Here comes the tornado.

    Timely and important post. Thanks, WG.

  • Thank you all--- Jack, Kathy, MargaretSerious and AW for reading, and your comments. Always appreciated!

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