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Oklahoma could set record low tornado benchmark

Oklahoma could set record low tornado benchmark
Posted at 11:16 PM, Apr 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-26 23:16:45-04

The calendar is about to flip from April to May, and normally storm chasers are flooding Tornado Alley to get a glimpse at the power of Mother Nature. 

But so far in 2018, there has not been much to chase. 

According to the National Weather Service, the state of Oklahoma, which is in the heart of Tornado Alley, has gone the entire year so far without a single confirmed tornado touchdown. Not since before 1950 has Oklahoma gone the first four months without a single tornado touchdown. 

By the end of April, the state would have averaged 17 tornado touchdowns. Last year, 13 tornadoes had touched down by the end of April. In 2016, there were 27 touchdowns in the month of April alone. In 2012, there were 54 confirmed touchdowns in April. 

The state of Kansas has also gone the entire year without a tornado. According to National Weather Service data, the state averages 12 tornadoes in the month of April alone. 

"On the whole, across the United States, we have seen around half the number of eyewitnessed tornado reports that we would normally expect by this time of year," Dr. Patrick Marsh, a meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center, told CNN. 

Meteorologists are blaming, or crediting, a jet stream pattern that has sent big snow storms into the Upper Midwest for the decreased number of tornadoes. The pattern has prevented warm moist air from setting up in the Plains, which has cut off any fuel for potential tornadoes. 

According to the Storm Prediction Center, the upcoming weekend appears to void of any major severe weather outbreaks. The next potential for severe storms could setup in the Plains on Tuesday and Wednesday.