Active Tornado year so far

Well, I was just at http://www.sams-weather.com/weather/tornadoes2006.html looking at the confirmed tornados of 2006 so far. Before looking at this data, I knew there were severale notable torando outbreaks this year, but wasnt sure of the tornado totals for a couple of the outbreaks, or the final tornado counts for the months, so I was thinking it was kind of slow so far this year. However, after looking at this data, I realize, with nearly 300 confirmed tornados so far this year, we're in a very active year so far. With 136 tornados so far this month, we've already passed last April's confirmed tornado count of 106, 2005's count of 125, and could easily pass the total for 2003 of 157. There has been a lack of violent tornados so far this year with only 1 F4 occuring in MO on March 13. The only question is, how does the pattern look going down the road? IF this pattern keeps up, this could be a great year for storm chasing, as long as the tornados move into more chaseable territory. :)
 
For preliminary stats, this chart tells a lot --> http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/Tornado%20Trend2.jpg

There have been a lot of tornadoes so far this year, but they haven't necessarily been chaser-friendly. Most have been in MO/AR/IL/TN, with very little activity in OK/TX (SEE HERE). I can't imagine how many more tornadoes we would have seen had we actually had true Gulf moisture in place for more of these setups. I think we've had several good opportunities to see high-end, once-a-year synoptic tornado outbreaks in the Plains, but have been plagued by marginal moisture / modified continental air and resultant low CAPE. As these systems get farther east, however, with more time for moisture to advect northward, they have produced significant tornadoes.

We need a strong cold front to cool things down a bit... We seem to have jumped from February to June down here... I'm not confident to say anything about the rest of this spring in terms of chasing in the Plains, except that I can't imagine we'll be above-average in chasing opportunities in the OK/TX region. Last May was horrific in OK (no tornadoes observed for the first time since comprehensive records have been kept), and I fear it may continue. For that matter, if you take away the May 29 supercell, 2004 wasn't very active in OK either (look here*. Of course, even a few marginal chases could change all that if we have a couple isolated, slow-moving tornadic supercells... I don't need these large-scale outbreaks to have a good chase obviously, so even events which appear to be low-end may surprise.

* I think all reports on the SPC site are from LSRs (thus are preliminary). OUN has a history of not releasing LSRs post-event in some cases (e.g. 3/30/06), so some tornadoes may not show up there (see " NWS Norman Local Storm Report Question"). I still find that very disappointing , but what do I know...
 
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