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Severe weather increase

READ MORE: Severe weather increase
This year has seen a lot of severe weather all across the country, including the busiest tornado season we've had in 10 years. Steve Pfaff is the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service office here in Wilmington. He is just one of the meteorologists that issues warnings when severe weather occurs in our area. He said they have definitely been issuing more warnings this year. "Last year we only had 87 confirmed reports of severe hail and wind and we are already up to 100 this year. Tornadoes last year we only had two and we are already up to 11 this year," said Pfaff. Pfaff said, "We think it's been active this year because of the jet stream. The polar jet, which allows the cold air to filter into the area, it kind of stayed to the north for the most part this year. We had an active subtropical jet, which has allowed for more moisture and a lot better instability for these storms to develop." The jet stream typically retreats to the north later in the summer, which means we won't get the severe weather events that we do in the spring. But it's important to remember that severe weather can occur anytime of the year. "Our severe weather peak is April into June, July and August. We see peaks there and we also see peaks with tropical cyclone activity too in September and August," said Pfaff. Current trends show that we can expect more severe weather here along the Cape Fear coast, so make sure you are ready for what Mother Nature may send our way this summer. One of the best ways to stay safe is to have a NOAA weather radio. They will inform you of severe weather warnings issued for your county 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can purchase them for as little as $30.

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