Jet Stream Pushes North
In the Weekly Water Outlook, I mentioned that the primary meteorological feature this week would be the lifting north of the jet stream. Take a look at the current position of the jet stream (following).
It might be of interest to see how closely both temperature and precipitation patterns have aligned with the new positions of the jet stream. The more organized precipitation over the past day or two is closely aligned with the jet stream. Also, temperatures have soared over a large portion of the nation. Areas in red will experience high temperatures in the 80s into lower 90s.
Welcome Texas Rainfall
Portions of Texas, especially West Texas have been experiencing a severe and prolonged drought. Scattered storms brought some needed rainfall to parts of West Texas yesterday. While this rainfall was indeed welcome, amounts were quite scattered. In the following image, focus on areas in medium blue, which received the more significant rainfall.
Outlook For The Rest of May
Unfortunately, the recent Texas rainfall does not look like a trend that will continue into the latter parts of May. Taking a look at the outlook for the rest of May, it seems like there will be a strong “dry” signal over a broad part of the South into the middle Midwest. The strongest signal for above normal precipitation will be another area that needs rain – the Northeast U.S.
Record Low Tornado Activity
It has been a very quiet severe weather season so far in 2013. In fact, over the past 12 months, there have been the fewest number of tornadoes since at least 1954. This likely falls within the lower 10% of all years on record. Take a look at the plot of severe weather reports below. While there were a few spikes, representing severe weather days, it has been very quiet since the middle of April. This corresponds closely with the dip in the jet stream and the prolonged period of below-normal temperatures. Cool temperatures usually result in more stable air and inhibit severe weather.