The 2016 Spring Weather Forecast

Posted at 10:30 PM, Feb 23, 2016

Spring-time: when summer and winter collide. The result is often tempestuous and turbulent weather. 

And this spring could be even more turbulent and tempestuous thanks to El Nino! This winter the Pacific Ocean warmed to near record levels. No El Nino is weakening but will impact our spring weather patterns.

The weather patterns can be broken into three distinct phases. Phases that are identified by signature storms. These storms repeat within a giant cycle. This year's cycle is around 50 days. 

Let's break those phases down. 

1) Here is the cooler, wetter part of the pattern. This is part of the pattern that produced the the wet Thanksgiving storm and the massive end of December storm. This will come back in the beginning of March and again by mid-May.

 2) The second dominant weather pattern produced our coldest morning of winter on January 10. This will repeat in the middle of April and could produce our last freeze of the spring.

3) The third dominant pattern kept Green Country warm and dry for much of the winter. This will also cycle through during the spring.

How do we know?  Because of the Lezak Recurring Cycle Theory. 

What is that? 

It's a theory that states the weather pattern sets up every fall and it cycles through spring and summer.  So this spring, the weather pattern we're about to experience with severe weather risks is the same pattern we just went through this winter.

El Nino did throw a wrench in part of that cycle. In late January, the Arctic experienced sudden dynamic warming. This changed the path of the Jet Stream and created a block in the western part of the United States.  That block steered storms away from the western U.S. Instead the storms traveled over top the block and grew in strength over the eastern U.S.  The result for Green Country was a dry February and ultimately grass fires.

But change is underway. That block is breaking down and El Nino will reassert its dominance over the western half of the United States and southern plains. Look for more storms to move through Green Country in March and April making for wetter than average and cooler than average months.

As for severe weather, if El Nino fades in March or April then the severe weather season may be a short one with fewer than average tornadoes. If El Nino persists into May, then the severe weather season may be delayed but last well into June.

Before we go forward let's quickly look back at two previous springs influenced by Strong El Nino's, the El Nino of 1982 -83 and the El Nino of 1997-98.  You can see from the graphic below both were some what cool and wet springs.

Because El Nino's influence will last into the spring I am forecasting a delayed start to the severe weather season. Using the LRC here are some possible days that we could experience severe weather.

Late March may provide one set up but we may see a break until late April but once May rolls around it appears the chance for severe weather days will ramp up at the beginning, middle and end of May.

So here is the 2016 Spring Forecast for Green Country. Tulsa averages just under 13 inches of rain in March, April and May. I expect above average rainfall. Because there may be more rainy days, I'm forecasting a cooler than average spring. Not to say there won't be some very warm spring days but when averaged out temperatures may end up just a little cooler than average.  I also look for six severe weather setups but overall a later but average tornado season across Green Country.

If you have any questions about the spring forecast, specific days, the LRC or El Nino, shoot me an email, or send me a note on my Facebook page. 

Thanks for taking time to read my spring forecast thoughts and have a safe rest of your week,


Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook