2020 was undoubtedly a preposterous year regarding storms… we won’t use other words to describe other things. While some think 2021 is off to a decent start (perspective), others living in tornado or hurricane country are in for another doozy with forecasts showing another active storm season for 2021.
Let’s cover three things: Tornadoes, Hail, & Hurricanes.
Increased tornado Frequency
According to Accuweather’s 2021 severe weather and tornado forecast, we could be looking at one of the most potent active storm seasons ever if the atmospheric similarities to last year are any indicator. While they are predicting a slow start, they are still expecting a rough go-around this year.
The silver lining for those living near the coast is that you only get a “moderate” severe storm prediction vs. our more northward neighbors, who are unfortunately going to see the brunt of this.
Here, you can read AccuWeather’s full meteorological report.
Northern hemisphere jet streams have been displaying a ‘wavier’ formation in recent years, from which we get these severe cool fronts.
This means the stream is dipping further south, bringing more cold air to regions that generally don’t experience it.
Cold, Polar air is introduced to the warm southern air from the tropics forming strong updrafts contributing to tornado formation.
But where you have strong updrafts, you have another weather threat: hail
More hail in 2021
There is only one way to describe the hail Texas got last month, and that’s “Texas-sized hail.” Even as far south as Mexico, there was 2″ – 4″ hail.
That’s the kind of stuff Hollywood creates visual effects to increase their shock and awe value. This was real, devastating size hail.
Oklahoma has seen 21 hail events averaging 2.5″ hail since 2021 began (and hail season isn’t supposed to start until March).
We could go into all of the hail events and the alarming size that is falling, but we would be here quite a while.
This all ties back into that colder air clashing with warm tropical air. That larger size hail typically stays further inland (further away from warm coastal air, which means cooler upper atmosphere).
Due to more extreme fronts, these events are creeping further south because of that jet stream activity we mentioned earlier.
So yes, it is likely to see an increase in the number of hail events and hail size in 2021.
Why more hurricanes?
No more! Please! We have had enough.
Between the shortages of building materials, the increase in demand, and all the funny business insurance companies are playing with their homeowners; we’re about to switch our company over to weather manipulation research and development.
Dreams of challenging Zeus aside, according to the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, we can expect an above-average number of storms in 2021.
While we aren’t talking about doubling the number of storms from last year, they predict we will see (at best) similar numbers and strength, but probably a little more.
Since you are here for a quick read about 2021’s active storm season and not the nitty-gritty details, we will spare you the specifics on Sahel Precipitation, Saharan Dust, and El Niño Southern Oscillations contributing to these claims.
But you can hop on over to CSU’s forecasting and read up on all the juicy details for yourself if you are into it.
Not to be a bearer of bad news, but buckle up, everyone. This storm season could very well be another bumpy ride.
Stay safe, be wise, and if you are blessed enough not to be affected, then help out where you can. There are plenty of hurting families out there because of unrelenting storms.