A Silver Lining to the Drought

By: METEOROLOGIST MARK HENDERSON
By: METEOROLOGIST MARK HENDERSON

There have been very few silver linings to be found in regards to the continuing and increasingly serious drought, especially as we're getting word of numerous farmers downstate and in parts of Iowa conceding a near total loss and beginning to mow their cornfields! However, we have been able to find a bit of a silver lining, and it's certainly a silver lining of significance!

While July isn't necessarily known to be one of the year's most significant severe weather producing months, this one has been remarkably quiet in that respect. According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, last July produced 103 reports of tornadoes throughout the US, while July, 2010 registered 146, and the same month in 2009 brought in 118, for a three-year average of 122. So far, in July, 2012's opening 11 days, there've been just TWO, yes 2, reports of tornadoes throughout the entire country!!! Though we're just over a third of the way through the month, the quiet start is very much worthy of noting! Quite simply, the overall lack of storms, the lack of moisture out there to fuel many of these storms, and the jet stream's position north into Canada can all be directly correlated to the lack of severe weather and tornadoes!

With medium to long range forecasts continuing to suggest the large scale pattern to continue for at least the next 7-10 days, the overall quiet severe weather/tornado trend should also likely continue! In an extremely hot, devastatingly dry summer like the one we're currently enduring, silver linings aren't easy to come by. This, though, is one of them!


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