DISASTERS

Tornado drought reported across the nation; last time there were no twisters in March was 1969

  • File - In this May 20, 2013 file photo, Moore police dig through the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School following a tornado in Moore, Okla.There have been fewer tornadoes nationwide through the month of March than in the past 10 years. In Oklahoma, two years after deadly tornadoes ripped into the state's midsection, there could be a second straight year of an uneventful tornado season. It's part of what forecasters are calling a 'tornado drought. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

    File - In this May 20, 2013 file photo, Moore police dig through the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School following a tornado in Moore, Okla.There have been fewer tornadoes nationwide through the month of March than in the past 10 years. In Oklahoma, two years after deadly tornadoes ripped into the state's midsection, there could be a second straight year of an uneventful tornado season. It's part of what forecasters are calling a 'tornado drought. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This May 21, 2013 file aerial photo shows the remains of houses in Moore, Okla., following a tornado on May 20, 2013. There have been fewer tornadoes nationwide through the month of March than in the past 10 years. In Oklahoma, two years after deadly tornadoes ripped into the state's midsection, there could be a second straight year of an uneventful tornado season. It's part of what forecasters are calling a 'tornado drought.'  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

    FILE - This May 21, 2013 file aerial photo shows the remains of houses in Moore, Okla., following a tornado on May 20, 2013. There have been fewer tornadoes nationwide through the month of March than in the past 10 years. In Oklahoma, two years after deadly tornadoes ripped into the state's midsection, there could be a second straight year of an uneventful tornado season. It's part of what forecasters are calling a 'tornado drought.' (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • File - This May 21, 2013 file aerial photo shows the remains of houses in Moore, Okla., following a May 20, 2013 tornado. There have been fewer tornadoes nationwide through the month of March than in the past 10 years. In Oklahoma, two years after deadly tornadoes ripped into the state's midsection, there could be a second straight year of an uneventful tornado season. It's part of what forecasters are calling a 'tornado drought.' (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin, File)

    File - This May 21, 2013 file aerial photo shows the remains of houses in Moore, Okla., following a May 20, 2013 tornado. There have been fewer tornadoes nationwide through the month of March than in the past 10 years. In Oklahoma, two years after deadly tornadoes ripped into the state's midsection, there could be a second straight year of an uneventful tornado season. It's part of what forecasters are calling a 'tornado drought.' (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin, File)  (The Associated Press)

The U.S. appears to be locked in a tornado drought as meteorologists have recorded only about two-dozen twisters so far this year during a period when 100 or more are typical.

And there have been no reports of tornadoes so far in March — a sometimes violent period for severe weather. The last time there were no tornadoes in March was 1969.

Forecasters at NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in Norman have issued only four tornado watches and no severe thunderstorm watches — less than 10 percent of the average 52 tornado watches issued by mid-March.

Warning coordination meteorologist Greg Carbin said there isn't one answer to explain the sluggish start, but that a persistent weather pattern of cold, stable air prevents a tornado's ingredients from coming together.