Storm season starts to heat up

Regina Bird

Hail near Centerview, Kansas, left a view looking more like winter as an April 19 storm dropped 4 to 5 inches of hail accumulation, according to the National Weather Service. This was just one particular storm.

From the Southeast to parts of the Plains, April had its fair share of severe storms. Late-season snowfall was also the case in parts of the Plains in April, including a snowy Easter for some. 

Temperatures were more like winter in mid-April as temperatures dipped below freezing parts of the Plains edging into north Texas as well. As the growing season is underway for some crops, this left concerns for freeze injury, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some parts of western Nebraska into northeast Colorado even had temperatures down into the teens or single digits with several new record lows noted in Nebraska. Specifically, Alliance came in with a bitter cold reading of 2 degrees F on April 14. 

Oceanic and atmospheric conditions continue to reflect ENSO-Neutral (neither El Niño or La Niña). As we look ahead toward summer, ENSO-Neutral is still expected to be ongoing. 

Now looking toward May specifically, above normal temperatures are expected in the far south. Above average moisture is forecast into the next month for most of Texas and stretching into the northern Plains.

That trend will continue for the next several months for much of that area, with eastern Texas the main focus in that state for above average precipitation. The mercury should rise above seasonal norms for Texas and Oklahoma for the next three months. 

The increased moisture in the coming months should help the drought situation in Texas, with improvement expected in the southern tier of the state. 

I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for next month’s update.

Editor’s note: Regina Bird grew up on a farm near Belleville, Kansas. The views from the farm helped spur her interest in weather. Following high school, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas. She currently works as a meteorologist for NTV and KFXL in central Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX.