While the Tri-State has dealt with several rounds of nasty storms this year, numbers show that relatively few Flash Flood and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings have been issued in the Tri-State so far in 2013. No tornado warnings have been issued in the Tri-State since the year began. Prior to 2013, the latest first Tornado Warning of the year was on July 27th, 2002. Here’s how the number of warnings so far this year match up with averages through this date:
Through the end of May, the number of Tri-State Severe Thunderstorm Warnings was at a record year-to-date minimum. The year-to-date count of 59 warnings so far this year is the 2nd fewest number of warnings issued through this date (since the National Weather Service in Wilmington first started issuing warnings for our area in 1995); only 2002 had fewer warnings through September 3rd:
This also feels like an unusually quiet severe weather season compared to 2011 and 2012.
The number of Flash Flood Warnings issued so far this year has also been below average, but we saw fewer warning through this point in 1999, 2004, 2005, and 2007:
Lower radar resolution and poorer rainfall estimation algorithms are partially to blame for the higher warning count in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The story of the year – at least to me – seems to be the lack of tornadoes and number of Tornado Warnings. While there have been several years since 195o with no confirmed tornadoes in the Tri-State, we never made it to early September without a Tornado Warning being issued somewhere in the Tri-State from 1995 to 2012. We have, however, done just that in 2013:
Only Tornado Warnings have been issued in September since 1995. Tornado Warnings are even more rare in October, November, and December. Severe weather is unlikely in the next 7 days, so the window for getting Tornado Warnings is quickly closing.