What is already known:
What this study adds:
Recently there has been increased interest in the ability to forecast severe weather events on a seasonal scale. Be- ing able to forecast events such as the April 2011 outbreak could have beneficial impacts such as increased prepar- edness at the Federal and local level as well as greater public awareness. To better forecast tornadoes on a sea- sonal scale, we must first look at the underlying factors that influence the inter-annual variability of both tornado loca- tions and intensity. Soil moisture has been shown, on regional scales, to have an effect on moisture within the bound- ary layer, and therefore, the potential for deep convection. Previous studies have examined relationships between factors related to soil moisture such as precipitation and evapotranspiration and their effects on tornado climatology at the local and regional scale. This study examined the relationship between antecedent soil moisture and tornado activity in five regions within the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, using two approaches. The first ap- proach used fall and winter soil moisture anomalies as a predictor for spring tornado activity while the second looked at the six months preceding each month in the year. In addition, we also assessed the reliability of our modeled soil moisture dataset by comparing it to the high-resolution Oklahoma Mesonet observational network.