Chief Meteorologist Noel Rehm with the 2022 Spring Outlook

Ongoing drought to have a role in the amount of severe storms we see throughout spring
2022 Spring Outlook
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 7:04 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) -

After a lot of data crunching and statistical analysis Chief Meteorologist Noel Rehm has your 2022 Spring Outlook. The La Niña pattern that has been in place this winter will continue to slowly collapse over the next few months. The warm and cool pockets of water in the eastern Pacific Ocean gives us a good idea on the average positioning of the jet stream over the United States through spring.

The dry line’s eastern extent will force the highest threat for severe weather to the eastern half of Tornado Alley and into Dixie Alley this spring. There will be times where the dry line sets up along the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, which will give Texoma a threat for possible severe storms. While supercells can develop off the dry line, storms typically become more frequent and better organized under the warm sector, and that’s what we will monitor closely once a mid-latitude cyclone develops. The average precipitation for Texoma during spring is 10.19′'. The precipitation forecast is expected to be well-below average for the western half of Texoma and mainly south of the red river, with slightly below average rainfall expected elsewhere across Southwest Oklahoma and Northwest Texas. The Texoma average high temperature is about 76°, and considering the setup of the dry line, we will likely experience above average to well above average temperatures west of I-44... Due to the variable jet stream, temperatures will fluctuate as a few late season cold fronts move across Texoma. Therefore, I predict near-average temperatures for central and eastern portions of southwest Oklahoma.

The lack of measurable rainfall has allowed for extreme to exceptional drought conditions to develop across our area. The ongoing drought can have an impact in the amount of severe weather that we see throughout May.

For areas that are typically west of the dry line there will be a lower threat of severe weather, with a slightly higher threat for areas along and east of where the dry line will setup. In this case, the best chance for strong-to-severe storms will be likely end up east of I-44.

In the southern plains, we see most of our tornadoes during the spring-time months. In Oklahoma, there is an average of 40 spring-time tornadoes. Last year, we saw just 20 tornadoes and with a similar La Niña pattern in place, I predict a below average number of tornadoes for the Sooner State. In Northwest Texas, there is an average of 4 tornadoes in March, April, and May, however last year there were a total of 9 tornadoes. My prediction this year is around 4-5 tornadoes, which would be near average.

To wrap-up this year’s spring outlook, we will see a few rainmaking cold fronts, however below average rainfall for our area. This will allow drought conditions to persist into the summer months. Taking the variable jet stream and last year’s weather into consideration, I expect warmer than average temperatures mainly for areas west of I-44. There will be a few busy severe weather days along with several tornadoes. Overall, a limited amount of severe weather activity is anticipated.

To stay ahead of the storm, download our First Alert 7 Weather App and get exclusive briefings from your First Alert Weather team. Plus, you can track storms in the palm of your hand as storms develop in our area.

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