The death toll continues to rise after a massive outbreak of severe weather through southern states. The outbreak could be on track to break a national record. It could also mean an active severe weather season for KELOLAND.
Piles of rubble are all that's left in several towns across Alabama after a string of deadly tornadoes ripped through the south.
"It's not just your regular routine tornadoes, large violent tornadoes and that accounts for a lot of the devastation," KELOLAND Meteorologist Brian Karstens said.
Karstens has been watching the storm system that has been hammering the south for days, taking hundreds of lives. It's been so powerful it could be record setting, and be even more destructive than the super outbreak of 1974, when 130 tornadoes touched down in roughly the same area of the country.
"This is a once in a generation type tornado event," Karstens said.
Karstens says the active weather is due to a strong jet stream. Here in KELOLAND we're getting the cold side of it. But, with warmer weather coming our way, severe weather could potentially come along with it.
"That's one thing we watch, we keep an eye on the storm track across the south. Typically as the days grow longer that jet stream shifts north, usually that shift is about 45 to 60 days," Karstens said.
However, Karstens is quick to point out it's hard to predict severe weather that far out, and with this being a La Nina year that could shake things up as well.
"Right now we're still evaluating that scenario as to how active this season will be there's still some question marks, La Nina is a weather trend we watch, that's a big driver of climate in the country," Karstens said.
But, if the weather in the south is any indication of what we'll get, we could be in for a long summer ahead.
The destructive tornadoes in the south are also a reminder that tornadoes can hit anywhere, including large cities.