Friday, March 2, 2012

Tornadoes... Again

I have already done two posts about Tornadoes (here and here). With the Outbreak going on right now, It's time for another one. The severe weather that was forecast for my area of Central Ohio didn't materialize, but south of here there have already been many touchdowns and will continue to be during the overnight hours.

Something strange is going on. I'm definitely a big believer in climate change and it's ability to make storms stronger. However, it shouldn't be causing this absurd up tick in the number of Tornadoes. It should be more gradual. Last year there were two Tornado Outbreaks of a historic nature and enough EF5s for a decade. The outbreak across the south in April 2011 was the worst ever surpassing even the famous 1974 "Super Outbreak" and a second outbreak in May 2011 that produced 242* Tornadoes including the horrible EF5 that struck Joplin, Missouri could easily take the title of third worst.

The outbreak that is going on tonight is probably going to have more than one hundred tornadoes, which is more than the average for the entire month of March. I suspect that there were at least EF4s in Indiana and Kentucky and there is the possibility for more major Tornadoes to develop.

In less than a year there have been 3 powerful and rare Tornado outbreaks and the spike in the amount of fatalities is horrifying. Weather forecasting has never been better and structures have never been stronger yet more people are dying than a decade or even two decades ago.

I've blamed the over-issuance of Tornado Warnings in the past, but the seeming increases to the strength and number of Tornadoes has to have a lot to do with it. I think the horrible storms have the past year have made people less prone to the 'boy who cried wolf' mindset with Tornado Warnings. However, there is little a population can do when an EF5 of EF4 bears down on a town even if they heed the warning.

The nature of storms is to create balance where there is imbalance. They exist where warm, moist air and cold, dry air meet. The greater the difference between air masses the stronger the storm. The nature of climate change is to cause extremes, which causes greater differences between air masses, but its hard to believe that things have gotten so much worse so quickly. Perhaps we have hit a critical mass though. I find it fascinating and terrifying at the same time.

Of course, there are conspiracy theorists who will believe that HAARP is responsible. Of course, these same people refuse to believe that Oswald acted alone or the attacks of September 11th, 2001 were the work Terrorists. They are also fans of logical fallacies.

Thanks for reading and please comment

*The 1974 Outbreak only had 148 (6 of those were EF5s,)


  1. Ack. While interesting, natural disaster are, as you say, terrifying. Stay safe.

  2. Stupid tornadoes. It didn't get too bad here, but I can't help but have more nervousness about t-storms than I used to. Nothing like having your trees uprooted and six-foot fence blown away to amp up the fear response a little! Zoey and Orion were a little upset about the storm, but it didn't progress to the whining and panic the actual tornado in 2010 elicited from them.