After a rough couple of weeks that saw one severe weather outbreak after another, the United States will begin the month of April with an unusual weather pattern: calmness. Agreeable conditions will descend upon the country this Easter weekend and bring calm during a period when serenity is usually in short supply.
A deep trough in the jet stream will continue making its way toward the East Coast on Wednesday and Thursday. A cold front at the surface will provide one more opportunity for severe thunderstorms across the southeast and Mid-Atlantic states during the day on Wednesday before the front moves out into the Atlantic during the day on Thursday.
Behind that front lies gorgeous weather. The jet stream will bend far north into Canada for the weekend, allowing a large ridge of high pressure to spread over the United States. The sinking air beneath an upper-level ridge typically leads to calm conditions.
The latest forecast from the Storm Prediction Center calls for thunderstorms in southern Florida on Thursday, April 1, while the agency predicts no thunderstorm activity anywhere in the United States on Friday, April 2.
It’s uncommon for the United States to make it through a day in April without experiencing a risk for severe thunderstorms, let alone go an entire day without any thunderstorms at all. April begins a three-month period when organized severe weather flourishes in the United States. An active weather pattern with regular low-pressure systems sweeping across the country typically leads to waves of severe thunderstorms every couple of days.
An average April over the last decade only saw a handful of days without a risk for severe thunderstorms in the Storm Prediction Center’s daily outlooks. Only one April day in the last decade—April 16, 2014—came and went without a threat for any thunderstorms, severe or not, across the entire country.
Calm weather is appreciated all around. The southeast has been through the ringer over the past couple of weeks. The region has seen two high-risk severe weather events since March 17, including a top-ten tornado outbreak for the state of Alabama and dozens of destructive tornadoes in total across the region. At least four of the tornadoes on March 25-26 were rated EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, and one tornado that hit Newnan, Georgia, produced EF-4 damage.
The Nashville metro area also experienced a flash flood emergency on the night of March 27 when training thunderstorms—a line of storms that repeatedly moves over the same area—produced double-digit rainfall totals in some communities, the flooding from which caused significant damage and claimed six lives.