A quiet start to June

Courtesy: SPC NOAA
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Updated:

According to the Storm Prediction Center over the past 30 years, our severe weather season typically peaks in the month of June with the best chance for stronger storms on any given day in the mid to late month.

The severe weather that's most common this time of year usually comes in the form of straight-line wind damage. For an example of this let's go back nearly six years to June 29, 2012.

That was the day of the derecho that tore through the Ohio affecting states from the Midwest all the way to the Atlantic Coast.

June 2018 has been relatively quiet so far, though. As of this writing we've only seen two days with severe weather in central Ohio.

While this is not unheard of this year's severe weather season hasn't been too crazy with a total of 11 days so far with at least one severe warning of some sort.

So if we've been dealing with rain the past few days why haven't we seen more severe weather? To answer that question we have to look high into the atmosphere at something known as the jet stream.

The jet stream is a river of fast moving air miles above our heads. It steers storm systems around the country and separates warm air to the south from cooler air to the north. It can also help in the development of severe weather.

Strong winds high in the atmosphere can provide wind shear for storms. Wind shear is nothing more than a change in wind speed and/or direction as you move up into the atmosphere.

That can allow storms to tilt or even rotate in the vertical. When that happens storms can take on a longer life cycle and don't rain themselves out as quickly.

But with the jet stream so far north, as it is now, storms that develop usually produce downpours, marginally strong winds and small hail.

Any wind or hail that's produced tends to be below the criteria necessary for the National Weather Service to issue a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.

Seeing that we've been in this sort of a pattern explains the lack of severe weather days so far this month.

Wednesday will see a chance for a few stronger storms in the afternoon as a cold front moves through and encounters a warm and muggy air mass. After that it looks like we'll see another dry and quiet spell.

With our jet stream is so far north we're talking about a pattern that's more in line with what we see in mid to late summer.

That looks to strengthen as we head into the weekend when high pressure will drift off to the east and pump in winds out of the south and southwest bringing what we call the "return flow".

This will allow temperatures to soar as hot and humid air remains in place through the weekend.