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Forecasters say a wetter-than-usual winter and a jet stream dipping deep into Tornado Alley could lead to an active spring for tornadoes.
North Texas is at the southern end of the area considered the highest threat for storms that can form tornadoes.
The 2010 tornado season has had a slow start with only one twister reported in February, and that was in California, not in Tornado Alley. But a strong twister ripped through Hammon in western Oklahoma Monday night, destroying five homes.
On Tuesday, Greg Carbin of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman said there will be an uptick in thunderstorm activity as spring approaches and the Southern Plains states warm up.
"Typically, an El Niño year means more precipitation, and that can mean more thunderstorms and severe weather," said David Finfrock, NBCDFW Chief Meteorologist. "We don't see much severe weather in a drought year, that's why February was unusual in that there was only one tornado in the entire country and that was in California, of all places. I would have expected more severe weather and I do expect more in the coming months."
Dr. Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman said Monday's tornado does not necessarily mean the season will be more active, but that more tornados are possible in the coming weeks if the same weather pattern continues.