Someone just pointed out this interesting climate extremes tool from the Southern Regional Climate Center. Here is the URL: http://extremes.srcc.lsu.edu/
From there you can choose the product, which is the type of all-time record – for the month, for the day, or for the year. Then you select your variable: record high, record low, etc. And finally the month of interest. So far it only does temperatures and is limited to airport data.
Here is a screen shot of the all-time record highs for April in the Midwest. In the tool, instead of this screen shot, when you mouse over one of the records it gives you more details on the record and dates. It is an interesting tool – I just wish it included the longer NWS Cooperative Observer records.
So far the 2015 tornado season in Illinois and the rest of tornado alley is incredibly quiet. There are no tornadoes to report this year, except in the far Southeast and one in California. However, this quiet start is no reason to relax if the past few years are a guide.
Historically, the heart of the Illinois tornado season is March to June with two-thirds of our tornadoes occurring during those months. However, in the last few years, we have had more tornadoes occur outside of this period than inside.
And a lot of these tornadoes have been concentrated in just a few days of the year. In fact, 69 percent of the tornadoes in 2012-14 occurred on just 5 days. These high concentrations can put extra strain on forecasting, warning, and recovery operations.