LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- We always stress to viewers that severe weather can occur at any time during the year. However, during the spring season, this is when we see the frequency of severe weather at its highest and peaks during the month of April.
Why does it peak in April? During this time of the year, we are still able to get strong low-pressure systems to pull cool, dry air from the north. At the same time, the sun angle is increasing which allows for warmer temperatures and moisture to surge in from the Gulf of Mexico.
The clash of these airmasses happens more often in April as we transition from the cold months (winter season) to the warmer months (summer season).
In addition to severe weather activity peaking during April, is the time of day we see it occurring.
Above is a graph that shows the thunder reports by week and time of day. The lighter the color, the higher the count, the darker the color, the less thunder that is reported.
What do thunder reports have to do with severe weather? Well, thunder indicates a convective storm. While not all storms that produce thunder become severe, many do.
As you can see in the month of April, our thunder report activity is highest between midnight and sunrise. That means, active weather during the overnight hours. This leads to the next point.
While more than 50% of our tornadoes occur during the day, nearly 43% of them occur at night here in Arkansas based on a study conducted by Northern Illinois University in 2008.
As we continue through the peak of severe weather season, we highlight this data to show the importance of always staying weather-aware and having multiple ways (TV, cellphone app, weather radio) to receive severe weather alerts day & night.
You can always catch our forecast during the many newscasts we have during the day or by going to our weather tab on our website where post forecast updates multiple times a day.
If you don’t have a weather radio, you can stop by any big box store and pick one up. We have also partnered with Academy Sports and Outdoors. If you go to their website and purchase a weather radio through them using the promo code KARK at checkout, you can get it shipped to your house for free.
Programming a weather radio is straight-forward but if you need step-by-step instructions, we have you covered there with a how-to-video.