Author: Mary Knapp

An old folk saying states “As the days grow longer, the storms grow stronger.” It’s not surprising that there is a physical connection to the old saying. Longer days mean more hours of sunshine. This in turn, provides more energy to the atmosphere which would fuel the strong storms. Couple that increased energy with a strong contrast in air masses and you have all the typical components for a severe weather outbreak. It is not surprising then to find that the long-term average for peak tornado activity isn’t until May in Kansas. Just remember, severe weather can occur anytime! Our recent severe weather outbreak – with overnight hail storms and heavy rains in eastern Kansas serve as a reminder of that fact.

Figure 1. Lightning strike (NOAA)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library