Breakdown: Why May can be an active month for severe weather

Updated: May. 2, 2021 at 9:37 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -In the Mid-South our most active month for tornadoes is April but May comes in as a close second. For the US as a whole the most active months are April, May, and June. Tornadoes can happen in any month but according to climatology April, May and June are the months that produce the most tornadoes and the strongest tornadoes per year.

Most Mid-South tornadoes occur during the spring months, with a little over half of the annual total reported during March, April and May. Of these months, April is the most active, with 22.5% of the yearly total according to research. The least active tornado months are August and October.

When it comes to severe weather, tornadoes aren’t the only threat that can come along with severe storms. Hail is another threat that can come from severe storms. While we may see a slight drop in tornadoes in May, May is the most active month for severe hail.

In the Mid-South our tornado threat is much lower in June compared to April. Our threat only drops slightly in May. The moisture is abundant in our region in late spring but the strong jet stream needed to help make conditions favorable for tornadic development, gradually shifts to the north. The right ingredients of moisture moving north from the Gulf and a strong southward dip in the jet stream was in place in April, which help to make it an active month.

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