OKLAHOMA CITY - The threat of yet another round of severe weather this weekend probably has a lot of people wondering what’s going on.
News4 talked to experts about what may be causing this extended period of strong storms and they say the jet stream is to blame.
“Mayhem,” said Gary McManus, the State Climatologist at The National Weather Center. “That’s really what it’s been.”
Catastrophic flooding and over 100 tornadoes made for a record-breaking Oklahoma storm season.
“Very unsettling weather and you really just have to blame it on the jet stream,” said McManus. “This May was the 3rd wettest May on record.”
McManus says the jet stream was more active.
“When we get the southwesterly flow with an energized jet stream over Oklahoma, when we get a lot of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, those tend to intermingle over our state and the southern plains and bring us this unsettled weather,” said McManus.
4 Warn Storm Chief Meteorologist Mike Morgan says the other factor is the solar output minimum.
“That lends also to a more active jetstream deeper into the spring and early summer months, energizing storms in late May and June, we’ve had that and there’s more coming,” said Morgan.
We also saw a deadly EF3 QLCS tornado or Quasi-Linear Convective System hit El Reno, which was unusually strong.
“They’re usually very brief and most of the time they’re fairly weak,” said McManus.
“It’s a leaning edge tornado that works on low-level wind shear, the changing of the wind speed and direction, with height as you go through the low levels of the atmosphere being pulled by a very strong updraft,” said Morgan.
Many Oklahomans are still cleaning up from that storm, but the state sticking together through the devastation.
“We are a resilient state,” said McManus. “We’ve seen this before and we will see it again and we will come back strong, I’m sure.”
McManus also says due to all of the moisture, we will see an extreme heat index as summer goes on.