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Breakdown: Why severe weather can peak again in the fall

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 9:58 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Most of us think of severe weather as more of a spring-time event and while we do see plenty of severe weather in the spring, there is a secondary season in the fall. This occurs in mid-October through November and on average can produce as many tornadoes as we see in March.

This secondary season is in October and November, is usually caused by cold fronts and the jet stream sinking more southward. We get warm humid air from the Gulf of Mexico colliding with cooler air from the north from dips southward in the jet stream and cold fronts. Sometimes late season tropical systems can also be the culprit for this secondary season.

In October the tornado threat is the greatest across the Midwest but that doesn’t mean we can’t see some in October in the Mid-South. In November the threat spreads farther into the deep south which includes the Mid-South.

Another risk is nighttime tornadoes which have a greater chance of occurring in the fall. Nighttime tornadoes can be the most dangerous and are two times more deadly than day-time tornadoes according to a recent study.

Here are some tips to help you stay prepared. Have several ways to get warnings...

  1. Download the First Alert Weather App on your smartphone where you can get all the latest warnings, make sure your phone is charged of course.
  2. Purchase a NOAA weather radio which is available at most electronics retailers. They feature warning alarms that can be set to sound when any National Weather Service tornado or severe thunderstorm watch or warning is issued.
  3. Know where to go. Have a plan in place well in advance should you have to evacuate

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