Brett Blume @brettblumekmoxBy Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Even as Winter maintains its tight grip on St. Louis, thoughts are turning ahead to the forecast for Spring.

For the answer to that we went to one of the nation’s foremost authorities, meteorologist Greg Carbin with the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

“We see a dramatic increase in the number of storms especially across the central and southern United States and those storms are accompanied by severe weather in the form of high winds, hail and tornadoes,” says Carbin.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that St. Louis is in line to receive all of that bad weather on the heels of a brutal winter – just some of it.

Of course spring in the Midwest also means tornado season.

Carbin refutes the notion that tornado activity has sharply risen in recent years.

“Actually, no, in the last 2 years in the United States have seen fewer tornadoes than average. 2011 was a remarkably busy year,” says Carbin.

Of course that’s the year that Joplin was leveled by an EF5 tornado.

Carbin says overall tornado activity was down in 2013 except for a corridor cutting across Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois where they increased slightly and spawned the deadly twister that struck Washington, Illinois.

Illinois holds its annual tornado drill at 10 o’clock Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, a similar test in Missouri has been postponed until Thursday at 1:30 p.m.  The drill is part of Severe Weather Awareness Week.


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