Spring is near, but so is the severe weather season. AccuWeather has your sneak peek at what to expect across the country.
March 1 marks start of severe weather season
AFB meteorologists predict an above-average season
Expect storms to strike outside of the traditional tornado alley
Out of the Ordinary
The arrival of meteorological spring on March 1 also marks the start of the severe weather season across the central United States, a season that AccuWeather For Business predicts could spin up a higher number of twisters and life-threatening storms than what has unfolded in recent years. Specifically, our expert forecasters say that tornado activity will shift into high gear this month across the central and eastern U.S.
One of the key characteristics of the 2022 severe weather season is that the worst of the storms may hit areas located outside of the traditional Tornado Alley. This area has historically encompassed a swath of the southern Plains to the northern Plains, including central Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. On its western flank, the traditional Tornado Alley includes eastern Colorado, eastern New Mexico, and parts of Iowa. But in recent years, the area with the most frequent tornadic activity has seemed to shift farther east toward the Mississippi and Tennessee valleys. AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Paul Pastelok and his team of long-range forecasters believe that there will still be twisters across the traditional Tornado Alley in 2022 but the worst of the storms and tornadoes may follow the recent trend and focus on areas farther to the east. AccuWeather is forecasting between 120 and 170 tornadoes will touch down across the U.S. in March, which could be double the month's long-term average of 80 tornadoes, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center.