Tornado Risk MapThe National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center hasn’t issued a single tornado or severe thunderstorm watch anywhere in the continental United States this month. It could be the first tornado-free March since the agency’s records began in 1970, and forecasters don’t expect that trend to change in the next few weeks.

As spring begins, we are having a relatively calm beginning to the tornado season. Since January, the center has issued just four tornado watches and no severe thunderstorm watches in the continental United States. The center has typically issued about 52 tornado watches by mid-March.

Tornadoseason_Main_1007Although the National Weather Service doesn’t produce official seasonal tornado outlooks, forecasters expect to see little severe weather through the rest of March and April, El Nino weather patterns like the one that began earlier this year tend to lead to calmer spring weather, although it’s important that residents always be ready in case severe weather arises unexpectedly.