NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – April typically brings warmer temperatures and increased tornado risk to Central Tennessee. However, there were no tornadoes in Central Tennessee in April 2022, and temperatures were also cooler than average. The Tennessee State Climate Office released its April Climate Report, and it was an unusual month in many ways.
“April was generally cooler than average, and much of that has to do with a few cold spells that brought cold weather across the state,” said William Tollefson, Assistant Climatologist for Tennessee. are all one to two degrees below normal, with the western end slightly cooler than in the east due to several strong cold spells that last throughout the month,” Tollefson explained.
While snowfall isn’t unheard of in April, it’s still somewhat unusual to see flying clouds, occurring over Middle Tennessee in the second week of April. “One of the big waves around April 9th, we had a big cold snap that even brought snow and rain. I know parts of Middle Tennessee that have seen some sleet,” Tollefson said.
In Middle Tennessee, areas on the Cumberland Plateau saw a few tenths of the snow accumulation on April 9, with Fairfield Glade seeing 0.8″.
There were no tornadoes in Central Tennessee in April, and this trend of fewer tornadoes than average has been in place statewide for all of 2022. Tollefson, “
Throughout the year, Tennessee has so far only had four tornadoes, which is pretty low for our normal at this time,” Tollefson explained.
While cooler weather may lessen the tornado threat, luck and La Niña can also contribute to a lack of tornado activity.
“I think we just got a little bit lucky with some of the storm tracks that just didn’t have the power to create those tornadoes in Tennessee,” Tollefson said. “Further south, Mississippi and Alabama have been hit really hard so far. So that could be due to the LA Nina model. If the jet stream is slightly stronger than the normal type, it will plunge south. Those stronger storms will be near the coast in the Gulf of Mexico.”
There is also an interesting rain trend in April. Areas north of Interstate 40 are wetter than average while southern counties are drier.
So what’s ahead for the summer months? NOAA is forecasting above-average temperatures and an equal chance of above or below average rainfall. You can view the full summer outlook here.
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