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Breaking down the fall severe weather season

9.7.23 Insider Feature Image

Every year, Mid-Missouri sees a slough of severe storms barrel paths through the region. Typically, the peak of this activity occurs during the spring months.

During the months of April and May, there is the perfect level of moisture, energy in the environment, and fronts to spur thunderstorm activity which can turn into dangerous situations.

On average, over the past 25 years April and May unsurprisingly lead with the highest tornado totals. Tornadoes can happen throughout the entire year across Mid-Missouri, but a secondary peak for tornadoes and thunderstorm activities occurs during the fall months of September and October.

During the summer months. The Polar Jet Stream remains over much of the Canada well north of Missouri. The air on the northward side typically remains cooler, while the air to the south nearing the equator remains substantially warmer. Just south of the Polar Jet Stream where the two temperature gradients meet, forms an area of enhanced thunderstorm activity due to the mixing of these two air masses more often.

During the winter months, the Polar Jet Stream dives south back towards the southern regions of the United States. The line of increased thunderstorm activity leads the way.

During the in-between months of fall, this jet stream is located closer to Mid-Missouri creating increased storm activity. This is the primary region Mid-Missouri will experienced a secondary peak of severe storms during this time. Make sure to stay weather aware throughout the entire year, but for storms spring and fall should be at a heightened alert threshold.

Article Topic Follows: Weather

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Chance Gotsch

Chance Gotsch grew up just south of St. Louis and moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri to pursue a degree in Atmospheric Sciences.

His interest in weather begin as a child when he used to be afraid of storms.

Chance joined the ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team in February 2021. He is currently the weekday noon meteorologist.


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