Severe weather in South Texas is a double-edged sword. It often brings us the rain we need, but can also leave behind destruction. So, when does severe weather season typically end in San Antonio?
This is a good question in which we cannot give an exact answer. But, data does give us generalized clues as to when the spring storm machine transitions into the summer heat machine. Let’s look back at the last 10 years for instance. If you compile storm reports for the Austin/San Antonio area, it shows that April was the most active month in four of those years. In the other six, it was May. March and June do bring severe weather, but often it’s far more sparse. So, it probably comes as no surprise to you that May represents the peak of severe weather, not only in San Antonio but across the state of Texas.
Now to the inexact science. In my 13 years of forecasting spring weather in San Antonio, it usually plays out like this: March brings an appetizer of storms and a few days of severe weather every year. April ramps up the activity, with fairly regular severe weather days throughout the month. That sets the table for May, which is not only our wettest month, but our most active month. Early in the month, severe weather can be fairly regular. Then, by the end of the month, as the upper flow becomes less rigorous, we start to see heavy rain events. Memorial Day floods, like in 2013 and 2015, have left an indelible mark on South Texas. Then, by the first week of June, our rain chances begin to ramp down as we head toward the summer-heat-high pattern that we’ve learned to hate. It doesn’t always work out this way, but it sure feels like it.
So, all of this to say — we’re less than two weeks away from Memorial Day. The next week or so does hold some rain chances, but the odds are currently low. Could it be that last week’s rain was our Memorial Day-type event and we’re headed towards a more summer-like pattern going forward? It’s still a bit too early to know for sure. But, we are running out of time based on climatology. The risk for widespread severe weather also stays in place for at least a few more weeks, before those odds begin to fall off. We’ll keep you posted!
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