As you can see, this was the year of the fatal overnight tornado in Manila. If you notice, Terry noted several rounds of storms including a day in May where he said, "tornadoes were everywhere!"
So does that mean we are going to have an active severe weather season? At first, I thought so, but NOT SO FAST. We can also look at the Spring of 1987 which was coming off of an El Nino winter and look at how quiet it was:
So, can we derive any forecast from El Nino? I'm not completely sure, BUT the winter season was a little like 1998 across the US. I'm not completely sold on a correlation, especially after reading this research from a well respected meteorologist, Joe Schaefer: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/publications/schaefer/el_nino.htm
Here's the deal. We have had a couple of years without major severe weather. In fact, if you take out the major EF4 that tracked 123 miles across the state, the weather in Region 8 has been rather calm, tornadowise since the Marmaduke/Caruthersville tornado. Law of averages is going to win out... it usually does!
So, let's all get prepared NOW. Have a plan.... Get a weather radio.... Know what to look for in severe weather. No matter what the weather holds, we can take steps to be safer.