(WMC) - The Southeast United States is referred to as Dixie Alley, due to the area being vulnerable to strong or violent tornadoes. This year, it’s living up to its name.
This season alone we have seen a high number of storms in the southeast, and in this episode of The Breakdown, we will explain why this is occurring.
Currently we are in a weak El Nino pattern. This term is used to describe the natural climate pattern where sea water in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean is warmer than average.
Due to the El Nino pattern, the southeast United States will experience wetter than average conditions, while the norther part of the country is less stormy and milder than usual.
This weak El Nino is living up to its name, as the annual number of tornadoes are already above average across the Southeast.
According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, between the years of 1991 to 2010, the average number of Tornadoes in Tennessee is 26, Arkansas is 39 and Mississippi is 43.
Looking at the SPC Preliminary Tornado Reports, so far in 2019 Tennessee has had only 4 reports, Arkansas is the same at 4 reports, but Mississippi leads the Mid-South with nearly 66 reports.
Alabama currently leads the pack with 71 tornado reports, on average they see around 44 tornados a year. Georgia has seen 52 tornado reports, with an average of 30 tornadoes per year.
This data shows that the El Nino pattern is helping aid in the storms rolling across the southeast, this is also showing that the shift in Tornado Alley into Dixie Alley is occurring.
Of course, this data will continue to update as the move further into the Spring Severe Weather Season.
Also, remember to keep it with the WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather Team for the latest when it comes to severe storms impacting the Mid-South.