Spring Outlook -Tornadoes and Brush Fires
An active severe weather season is anticipated in the U.S. during spring of 2012 with the most widespread warmth since 2004.
"As far as the forecast for the spring of 2012, we do feel like it's going to be a mild spring for most of the nation from the eastern Rockies into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes area," Paul Pastelok, expert long-range meteorologist and leader of the AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team, said. "At least two-thirds of the nation could wind up with above-normal temperatures."
Active Severe Weather Season Forecast
An above-normal number of tornadoes is forecast for this season with water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico running above normal for this time of year. The active severe weather season follows a deadly year with a near-record number of tornadoes in 2011.
Typically, 1,300 tornadoes strike the U.S. a year. There were nearly 1,700 tornadoes in 2011, falling short of the record 1,817 tornadoes set in 2004.
Southwest Florida weather in the long term outlook should remain warm and mainly dry, which could fuel an active brush fire season for the state. The drought index is already over 600 in all 6 Southwest Florida counties, with the highest being DeSoto County at 670.
Brush fire season usually gets into high gear in May, when the afternoon thunderstorms being to develop a bit more regularly, and before the widespread rains bring enough moisture to the soil.