It’s almost January, and you know what that means.
Sixty-seven degrees, and a chance of tornadoes.
Chances are you weren’t the only one doing a double-take when you stepped outside Friday, nor the only one surprised to see much of eastern Kansas under a tornado watch Friday night.
6News meteorologist Matt Elwell said he was taken aback when he saw a National Weather Service tornado watch included Lawrence.
“I’ve watched this because the severe weather was more to our south,” he said. “I was a little surprised that they put the watch out directly overhead.”
Friday’s record high temperatures that melted snow, creating moisture in the air, helped create factors favorable to tornadic conditions, Elwell said.
“We’ve got a jet stream overhead, an abundance of moisture and a south wind,” he said, referencing warm temperatures fluttering up from the Gulf of Mexico. “We also have a storm cold front moving in from the northwest.”
“It just goes to show that you have to be prepared for events at any month, at any time,” Elwell said.
And even though the weather is quite unlike the norm, such unseasonable conditions are not unheard of.
Elwell pointed to a November 2005 tornado that drifted through the region.
“It’s rare, it’s not common,” he said. “We’ve had tornadoes every month of the year.”
In case you’re hoping the warm weather will last, Saturday’s forecast calls for the possibility of snow in the early morning.