Storm season begins quietly throughout the south - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Storm season begins quietly throughout the south

Severe storm season has begun with few systems across the nation. (Source: NOAA) Severe storm season has begun with few systems across the nation. (Source: NOAA)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

March is almost over, and it's not severe weather that's breaking records. Instead, it is the the lack of severe weather is creating all the buzz.

"We've had a very quiet start to the year so far," said Gregory Carbin, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the Storm Prediction Center. "Only four watches issued through this part of March, which on average we see about 50 to 60 watches issued."

There were no watches in the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday, a quiet, spring-like day, but the ‘Severe Outlook' was placed at an ‘Enhanced Risk' for portions of the Midwest. 

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma is typically busy this time of year with severe weather, but they've seen a drought with active weather all year long.

"March has been quite exceptional. That's when we start to see more tornadoes occur across the country, and we've had no tornadoes yet reported this year in March," Carbin said.

There are a number of factors that haven't combined yet to bring us severe weather. In large part, that is due to the setup of the jet stream, which is currently suppressing the instability and moisture necessary for active storms.

"As we warm up and move into spring, there will be more opportunities for thunderstorms even with this large scale pattern remaining in place," Carbin said.

As of Tuesday, we broke a record of no tornadoes for the month of March. That hasn't happened since 1969.

"In 1969, we went to March 23, then there were four or five tornadoes that occurred in that year on that month," said Carbin.

The lack of the number of watches issued are also breaking records, according to SPC data dating back to 1970.

"The least active March in the past was in the 1980s, where there were 14 watches to date. We've only had four so far for the year. And none of those watches coming in March," said Carbin.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch #5 was entered into effect Tuesday for portions of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Remember, we're always vulnerable for severe weather at any point of the year.

Click here for outlooks and long-range nationwide forecasts from the Storm Prediction Center.

Closer to home, you can always check on conditions across the Tennessee Valley with the WAFF 48 News and Weather Apps.

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