The WPTV Newsroom has been seeing a huge influx of questions very similar to the one posed by one of our Facebook friends, Sylvia.
Sylvia asks: "Are these tornadoes a sign of the hurricane season to come?"
In short, no. The Mid-latitude cyclones that have been making their way across the Midwest and causing the severe thunderstorms and subsequent tornadoes have nothing to do with hurricane development.
Tropical development depends on almost a completely different set of variables. The only factor that could potentially contribute to both a strong system in the Midwest, and a tropical system in the Gulf, would be the fact that water temperatures are running slightly above average there. The Gulf of Mexico started out the year with below average water temperatures, but the recent heat across the southern part of the country and the Gulf waters has allowed those waters to warm up quickly, putting them just above normal values.
Waters in the Gulf contributed to the violent storm systems that we saw move across the Deep South and Midwest by providing plentiful amounts of the warm, moist air that these systems feed on. During hurricane season, warm water temperatures can also aid in tropical cyclone development.
Sylvia, I hope this answers your question!