State of the Season: June 12th, 2018

As the main part of chase season has passed by, 2018 has been an interesting year. From a meteorological perspective, it’s been one of the most boring years on record. There have been no major events, and even relatively minor outbreaks have been few and far between. To date, there have only been five EF3 tornadoes, which is very low. However, from my personal view, it’s been great. I saw three tornadoes in May, including the Tescott tornado, so I can’t say that I’ve had a bad year. Now to take a look into the future…

While the summertime is often pretty quiet, eastern Kansas usually gets at least one chaseable event (August 2016 had three!) so hopefully I can get a chase in during the summer. We have been in a La Nina base state since late 2016, but that is predicted to change beginning in the fall, where at least a weak El Nino (probably moderate) should develop. It seems like chasers bemoan El Ninos, but considering the last two years haven’t been great, a change in the pattern is probably a good thing. Some great Plains years have been El Ninos (1995, 2003, 2010) so we’ll see. Some of those Nina-to-Nino years also had pretty active fall seasons, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the fall gets some decent events (hopefully some chaseable ones). It’s too early to get some analogs for 2019, but I’m rather optimistic, as it’s tough to get a year worse than 2018 (from a meteorological perspective).

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