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Severe Storms Possible In Fall

September 21, 2012, 5:40 AM by Ben Cathey

Severe Storms Possible In Fall

It takes several ingredients to create severe weather, but this time of year they're usually in short supply.

Still, it is possible to get some storms as the weather focus turns to snow. Unlike the spring when crops fuel the moisture needed for storms, during the fall, corn and beans dry up so they can't bring us much moisture.

And unlike in the spring when air from the Gulf of Mexico can spur severe storms to develop, this time of year, the stronger northwest winds shut this pattern down. 

Those biting winds which signal autumn, also make it tougher for warm fronts to move north to warm us. 

But unlike the more common super cell thunderstorms of spring, the squall line thunderstorms of fall are more likely to carry damaging winds than tornadoes.

Fall storms can also be the result of the slight rise in elevation between parts of the Midwest and western South Dakota. Winds from the east can cool as the elevation rises, creating the right conditions for autumn storms. Because these types of storms don't need much moisture, they could be more common during a drought, but we really don't expect to see much severe storm activity as the seasons change.

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