When is Tornado Season in Kansas
Overview of Tornado Season
Tornado season in Kansas typically runs from mid-April to early June. During this time, thunderstorms are more frequent and tornadoes can happen with little warning. It’s important to know when tornado season is, and to be aware of the risks that come with it.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at tornado season in Kansas and all the important details that you should know:
Definition of a tornado
A tornado is a rotating column of air that reaches from a thunderstorm to the ground. It is often referred to as a ‘twister’ or ‘cyclone’ and usually has very destructive winds and may also be accompanied by heavy rain, lightning, hail and even tornadoes.
Tornadoes can form anytime during summer months, but they are most common during the spring and fall months.
It is important to note that not all cyclones are tornadoes; they must have certain characteristics in order to be classified as such:
- Firstly, they must rotate in an oval shaped pattern when observed on a weather radar machine.
- Secondly, they must have wind speeds between 40 and 120 mph, which can cause widespread damage.
- Finally, when observed from the ground or air they must appear tube-like and will move along the ground at high speeds.
Average duration of tornado season
The average tornado season lasts from March through August, with peak tornado activity across the United States usually occurring between April and May. Tornadoes normally reach their peak intensity from mid-April to mid-May every year in most areas; however, in some states these periods of intense tornado activity may differ by region.
In some parts of the southern U.S., such as Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, tornadoes are generally preceded by a cold front moving southward from the north. In those regions, storm systems will originate in the Rockies or Plains states, producing thunderstorms that create extreme winds resulting in tornadoes and strong storms. In contrast, in other parts of the world such as Scandinavia and eastern Russia, tornadoes occur primarily during July and August but are much less frequent than they are in the U.S.
Climate conditions also play a role in determining when a tornado season is most likely to occur. Areas like the Plains states can experience short bursts of severe storm systems that quickly develop into tornadoes if atmospheric conditions are favorable while other regions such as New York or Florida will experience long but milder seasons with fewer violent storms reaching their peak intensity over several months instead of several days or weeks at a time.
Tornado Season in Kansas
Kansas is a hot spot for tornado activity due to its location in Tornado Alley. Tornado season in Kansas is typically from April through June, with peak activity typically occurring in May. Tornado season in Kansas can also extend into July, so it’s important to be prepared for a possible tornado at any time during the spring and summer months.
Average number of tornadoes each year
In Kansas, the average number of tornadoes that occur each year is around 60. Typically, tornado season starts in mid-May and continues through mid-July. However, some years can have more or less tornadic activity than normal. In 2020, there were a total of 56 confirmed tornadoes across the state according to data from the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL).
The chance for tornadic activity peaks in late May and early June and drops drastically after mid-July. The peak months also seem to be dependent on weather patterns from year to year. For instance, in 2019 Kansas saw 74 tornado reports while in 2018 only 28 were documented.
The most active region of the state tends to be southeastern and extreme northeastern Kansas due to their proximity to Oklahoma and Missouri border regions which see a large amount of storm activity usually brought by the southerly flow of warm moist air during summer months known as the Gulf Low Level Jet or Gulf Stream Air Flow (GLLJ). The GLLJ can bring in large amounts of humidity which can lead to thunderstorm and tornado development when combined with daytime heating over Kansas terrain. Strong thunderstorms also develop rapidly along dry line boundaries that can exist during peak season activity as well as stronger low pressure systems at upper levels.
Most active months for tornadoes
Tornadoes in Kansas can occur any time during the year, but they are most frequent between April and June. During this period, warm moist air moving northward from the Gulf of Mexico usually meets cool dry air coming southward from Canada and the northern Great Plains. This clash of air masses produces severe thunderstorms with tornadoes.
In most years, more than half of all tornadoes across the entire country occur in Kansas during these three months. To minimize the risk of injury or property damage due to a tornado, it is essential to be aware of what causes them and when they are most likely to form.
The months that typically experience the largest number tornadoes in Kansas are May and June with an average combined total of 129 per year. In comparison, April has an average total of 61 and July around 43 annually. By understanding when these events become more common, it is possible to take precautionary measures such as reviewing NOAA’s severe weather safety tips or developing an emergency plan for your family or business that includes what will be done if a tornado strikes your area.
Areas of Kansas most prone to tornadoes
Kansas is located in Tornado Alley, a region in the central United States notorious for its extreme weather patterns, which make it particularly prone to tornadoes. Not only is it home to many tornadoes each year, with most occurring during May and June, but because of its flat landscape, the damage likely incurred can reach much wider areas than those affected by other types of natural disasters.
The proportion of tornado-prone areas in the state varies throughout the year. In spring and summer months when severe thunderstorms and high winds are more prevalent, some areas in Kansas become more prone to dangerous twisters. While all areas in the state are susceptible at any time of year, counties in south-central Kansas (particularly Sedgwick and Pratt Counties) are particularly prone to tornado activity between April through July. The largest city impacted is Wichita.
In southwest Kansas and near the Oklahoma border (running from Barber County to Finney County), tornadic activity typically peaks during May-June months, including around towns such as Liberal or Dodge City. Some counties close to or bordering Colorado such as Baca or Greeley also experience due vigilance against tornadic activity from April through July depending on weather patterns that year.
Though throughout all seasons there can be some variability due to changing meteorological conditions anyone residing within or visiting Montana should take precautions for any season as inclement weather systems can form rather quickly without warning during particular time periods stated above along with other factors including humidity levels and jet stream positioning amongst others. Weather warnings should be thoroughly reviewed before engaging in outdoor activities within these regions as sudden powerful winds could unexpectedly materialize at any given moment creating significant danger if not properly monitored by authorities beforehand.
Preparing for Tornado Season
Kansas is known for its severe weather due to its geographic location, and tornado season is no exception. Knowing when tornado season starts, and what kind of conditions pave the way for tornado activity, is key to preparing for any potential disasters.
In this article, we’ll explore when tornado season kicks off in Kansas and what steps you can take to get ready:
Create an emergency plan
Creating an emergency plan for if a tornado warning is issued is essential for staying safe during tornado season in Kansas. It is important to identify how to receive accurate and up-to-date weather information, such as tuning into a local radio station, downloading the local county’s emergency app or subscribing to local emergency alerts. Additionally, each household should designate a safe room or strong interior building, such as a basement or storm cellar, which can be used for shelter in the event of a tornado warning. Everyone should know exactly where to go during the warning and have predetermined meeting areas should anyone become separated from the group.
It is also essential to create an emergency supply kit that can be accessed at any time in case of an emergency. This kit should include necessities such as food and water that would last several days, extra items like flashlights and first aid kits, and all important documents like insurance cards, passports and birth certificates. Storing these items in one easily-accessible location will ensure that everyone in your household has all of their necessary items in case of evacuation or displacement following the tornado.
By proactively creating an emergency plan ahead of this year’s tornado season, you can ensure that your family knows how best to stay prepared in case of a severe tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service in Kansas.
Make sure your home is properly secured
Tornado season in Kansas officially starts on April 15 and runs through June 30. However, tornadoes can occur any time of the year. Staying prepared for tornado season requires more than simply being aware of the weather conditions. It is important to ensure that your home is as prepared as you are and that it will stand up to a severe tornado or storm.
Every homeowner should take the necessary precautionary steps to secure their home against tornadoes and severe weather. Emergency kits should be stocked and proper insulation installed prior to tornado season in order to help with water damage prevention, energy efficiency, and better stormproofing of your property. Basic steps include:
- Installing window shutters
- Replacing missing shingles or siding
- Fixing damaged roofs or gutters
- Cleaning all drains before the storm
- Reinforcing walls with steel bracing
- Checking for loose objects outside that could become dangerous projectiles during a windy day
- Emergency power backup systems are also recommended for homes in tornado prone areas
During tornado season you should also inspect your attic for any gaps or open areas along roof-to-wall joints where wind can enter your home; seal these gaps with caulk or weatherstripping if needed.
By making sure your house is properly secured before the start of tornado season, you are increasing its chance of being able to withstand high winds created by impending storms instead of sustaining severe damage afterwards. This pays off not only in terms of safety during high winds or storms but also saves you money on potential repairs after a tornado has passed through an area.
Have an emergency kit ready
As tornadoes, thunderstorms and other dangerous weather conditions can happen at any time of the year, it’s important to be prepared. An emergency kit should include essential supplies to keep your family safe and comfortable should you experience a power outage or have to evacuate due to severe weather.
There are a variety of things that you can do before tornado season arrives to make sure your family is ready should an emergency strike. Your emergency kit should include at least three days of food, water and needed medications as well as items such as flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, blankets or sleeping bags, and clothing for extreme temperatures. Other items like a whistle in the event you need help or extra cash are also helpful for unexpected situations. It’s a good idea to store all items together so that it’s easy to find upon evacuation and/or when power is out. Additionally, plan how you will communicate with family members in case of an evacuation or if you are separated from them during the storm.
Tornado season brings along thunderstorm activity which can cause flooding – so make sure your emergency kit includes plastic bags for sanitation in case clean water isn’t readily available due too plumbing disruptions due to floods or other issues caused by severe weather events. Finally, don’t forget entertainment such as books, board games or cards – these activities can go a long way towards keeping your family calm during times of stress and discomfort. Having an emergency plan ahead of time reduces panic when storms occur and prepares your family more safely if they have reason enough time period action plan effectively.
Tornadoes can be a devastating force of nature, and it is important to know when tornado season is in order to be prepared. In Kansas, tornado season generally runs from March to July, with peak season in May and June.
In addition to knowing when tornado season occurs, it is important to be aware of some other safety measures you can take to stay safe during this time of year:
Know the difference between a tornado watch and warning
A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for dangerous severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. During a tornado watch, remain alert and monitor your local radio or television stations for the latest information from the National Weather Service.
A tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted in your area. If you receive a warning, take protective action immediately. Take cover in an interior room without windows on the lowest floor of your home or building (a basement, storm cellar or interior closet). Avoid windows and exterior walls as much as possible to protect yourself from flying debris.
If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure, move quickly to a building with a strong foundation – even if it means leaving the area initially under threat – as these structures offer little protection against strong winds and flying debris.
Find a safe place to shelter
Finding a safe place to shelter is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from a tornado. Before a tornado strikes, make sure you know the safest areas in your home or building. Basements are generally the safest place in any structure, as they provide both protection from the wind and stability with their below-ground location. If no basement is available, go to an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows, such as a bathroom or closet.
Some people choose to open their windows prior to a storm as protection against flying debris, but it is unclear whether this actually helps or not – so be sure to check your local weather authority’s statement on this before taking any action. You also want to avoid being outside during a storm of any kind, especially if there is a tornado watch or warning in effect. If you are in an area that has been placed under either condition and there is no safe place for shelter indoors, immediately try to get into your vehicle and drive towards an area (such as out of town) where there are lower chances of flying debris.
No matter where you decide to shelter during and tornado event, be sure that you have plenty of supplies such as food and extra water that can last several days. Depending on your situation and location, find out what other safety measures may be necessary at the time so that you are prepared for when disaster strikes.
Know the signs of an approaching tornado
It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of an approaching tornado in order to hope you stay safe and take the necessary steps. When a tornado is approaching, there are some typical warning signs that occur just before one strikes. Many of these warning signs come in minutes or a few hours before the event, so it is important to recognize them and be prepared.
Some common signs include:
- Dark, greenish sky
- Large hail
- Strong, persistent rotation in the cloud base
- Loud roar, similar to that of a freight train
- Winds shifting direction and increasing speed
In addition to these visible clues, pressure changes are also another signals that indicate an approaching tornado. Low pressure and an increase in wind speeds are indications that a twister could be coming your way. It’s important to remain alert for these changes and take prompt action if you feel your safety is at risk.
Kansas is known for its unpredictable weather, and tornadoes are no exception. The tornado season usually lasts from March until June, peaking in May.
In order to be prepared for potential severe weather, it is important to understand where to find resources to stay informed. This section will explore the best websites, apps, and other tools to help you stay alert and safe during Kansas tornado season:
National Weather Service
The National Weather Service (NWS) is a great resource when it comes to forecasting the weather in Kansas. The NWS issues tornado watches and warnings at least six hours before a tornado is expected to form, making NWS the most reliable source for tracking and predicting tornadoes in Kansas.
The typical tornado season in Kansas runs from April through June, with peak activity occurring during May. Tornadoes can form anywhere within the state at any time of year, but risk of severe weather generally decreases during the winter months.
The National Weather Service in Kansas City/Pleasant Hill issues tornado watches for an entire region when conditions become favorable for a possible tornado formation within 6-12 hours. Tornado warnings are issued when a thunderstorm has been detected by Doppler Radar or when a severe storm containing hail one inch or larger and/or strong winds becomes visible from one of their spotters located around the state. They also issue flash flood warnings if rainfall amounts reach indicated levels or if flooding conditions are imminent.
Weather alerts and other information concerning hazardous weather can be found on their website, as well as through various media outlets such as local television stations and radio stations throughout the state. It is important to remain informed and aware of any possible inclement weather that could be coming your way.
Kansas Division of Emergency Management
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) plays a vital role in preparing the citizens of Kansas for all types of severe weather, from severe thunderstorms to tornadoes. KDEM provides information and resources that can help you prepare for and respond to dangerous storms.
KDEM offers a wide range of information about when tornado season takes place in Kansas. This includes:
- Forecasting tools – KDEM provides easy-to-understand forecasting tools, such as maps and graphs with tornado probability and the average start, peak and end dates for tornado season in your county or region.
- Awareness campaigns – KDEM works with partners to promote awareness about severe weather safety during what is frequently called “tornado season” throughout the spring.
- Warning systems – KDEM supports a variety of warning systems designed to alert people when conditions exist or change rapidly indicating danger from severe weather.
- Preparedness tips – KDEM encourages everyone living in or visiting Kansas to learn what they should do before, during and after tornado activity.
- Recovery resources – For those affected by tornadoes, KDEM compiles lists of local aid organizations offering assistance with recovery efforts including critical services, non-profit programs and government assistance programs.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross has been a leader in providing services, help and relief since 1881. With millions of members nationwide, the American Red Cross is dedicated to saving lives and helping people prepare for and respond to emergencies. From its network of 35 chapters, the organization provides local services such as disaster relief, health and safety courses like CPR training, blood donations, international aid programs and services for military families.
The American Red Cross also has a wide range of resources related to disaster preparedness. The organization offers a library of publications on topics like home fire safety tips, responding to natural disasters and severe weather alerts. In addition to publications, the Red Cross provides tools such as an evacuation checklist, support forums and access to blood drives.
Whether you are interested in getting involved or learning more about preparing for an emergency situation, the American Red Cross is an excellent source of reliable advice that could help save lives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: When does tornado season begin in Kansas?
A1: Tornado season in Kansas typically begins in late March and continues through early June.
Q2: How frequent are tornadoes in Kansas?
A2: On average, Kansas experiences nearly 50 tornadoes every year.
Q3: How can I stay safe during tornado season?
A3: During tornado season, it’s important to stay informed on local weather conditions and have a plan of action in the event of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency kit prepared with items such as a first aid kit, flashlights, food, and water.