At the edge of a storm, gray clouds spits lightning as it surrenders to the blue clearing skies behind while rain sweeps across Lake Pontchartrain as viewed from the West End area looking north in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. Showers in the metro area had people scrambling for shelter or bearing the elements with umbrellas during the mid afternoon.

A record-warm February might not be the only odd weather pattern to be seen in Louisiana this year, as elevated numbers of severe storms could be on the horizon. 

In the Gulf of Mexico, water temperatures never fell below 73 degrees over the winter for the first time on record, according to a report from the Washington Post, citing arstechnica.

The warm conditions could mean more severe weather than usual across southern parts of the United States. 

The increase in storms would require a combination of several factors, including the warm water temperatures, according to Victor Gensini, a professor of meteorology at the College of DuPage, in the report. Hot, dry air forms at higher altitudes and can flow into the southern and central states, mingling with the warm, moist Gulf air, Gensini said. 

“This year we have both ingredients,” Gensini said in the report. “With them coming together, we’re already seeing tornado levels as high as they’ve been since 2008.”

For the full report, click here