The tornado season in Wisconsin is off to a slow start but will it continue this way? Jonathan Martin, Chair of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UW Madison can't give predictions on this summer's potential tornado activity. He calls the atmosphere "a mystery" and notes forecasting regular weather is only possible about 10 days out. Another difficulty is the nature of twisters which are spontaneous when they appear.
Martin says cooler temperatures in the state may have curbed twister development so far. A condition ripe for tornado formation is large amounts of water vapor in the air, which you would feel on a muggy day.
Another ingrediant ripe for tornadoes involves an area where as you climb in elevation, the wind speeds and directions elevations are different from one layer to next. The scientist says this could spawn an all day thunderstorm or give rise to a twister.
Martin says the state's peak tornado season threat is late June to mid August.