Record Tornadoes - Why?

By Chris Daniels, Meteorologist

April 28, 2011 Updated Apr 28, 2011 at 12:30 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The number of tornadoes this year is reaching record proportions. But why? Spring is usually the most common time for these storms to occur. A look at recent La Nina events would tend to be a possible cause of the increased number of tornadoes. But other La Nina years has shown an average spring storm season. One thing we can say for sure is that these storms this spring are caused by common atmospheric conditions. This season is a battle ground of new spring warmth and leftover winter chill clashing. This provides lots of uplift, an important aid to storm development.

During the Alabama storms warm humid air was in place. A cold front was advancing, bringing great temperature differences in the two air masses. This cool air was also much drier than the environment it was moving into. These are some of the important weather elements that need to be in place to support severe weather. That region was also approaching the warmest time of the day. All these elements came together to help produce this terrible tornado outbreak.

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