The 2018 season certainly feels like it's off to the slowest start of my chasing career. After running the numbers, the statewide statistics show that we are near average for total storm reports through June 3.
The graph above shows 2018 cumulative reports (red) vs. the last 13 years. We appear to be right on schedule totals-wise. 2017 (black) really took off this time of year and finished above average for total storm reports. We have entered peak season which runs from June through August.
Spatial coverage is not consistent statewide with western and southern areas receiving all the storm reports and warnings. The composition of reports (tor vs. wind vs. hail) has been average. My perception of a slow season is skewed by the lack of storm reports in central Wisconsin. If you live in western or southern Wisconsin you likely have a different perspective.
The 57 severe reports through June 3rd is below average but far from the 13 year min. Days with reports are below average but this can be skewed
by events that happen overnight, so typically what we do is offset the day back by 6hrs (which was not done for this analysis). The third metric is efficiency which divides reports by day. The days that have produced severe storms in 2018 have been effective (6 rep/severe day) which suggests the storms have been of average intensity
. If you contrast with 2007 (despite what happens on Jun 7 that year), 14 days with severe but only 2-3 reports per day. No landscape, spatial, or population considerations were made.
Storm chasers have been frustrated by a lack of solid, chaseable targets in Wisconsin this year. The majority of severe storms have been instability driven with weak wind shear. There has been a lack of opportunities in the long range to look forward to but that can change at any time. Statistically we are at the beginning of the 2018 storm peak and interested to see where this goes!
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