Forecasts show the precipitation deficit — a measure of below-average rainfall — will be worse this summer in Oklahoma than anywhere else in the country.
“It looks like it's a dry summer,” Harold Brooks, a research meteorologist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, said Monday at an event held in conjunction with the National Tornado Summit in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma looks to be in for its third consecutive hot, dry summer, Brooks said.
The state averages 8 or 9 inches of rain in June, July and August; the forecast is for that figure to come in 1 inch, or about 12 percent, below normal.
Brooks said he's frequently asked, “What's tornado season going to be like this year?”
“We don't know,” he said.
But he said scientists have been able to spot some tendencies in studying the data:
An active early tornado season doesn't necessarily mean the rest of the season will be more active than normal.
Hot, dry summers tend to produce fewer tornadoes; conditions conducive to tornadoes tend to occur less frequently.
“Hot temperatures are really big for fewer tornadoes,” Brooks said.