Tornado Numbers Running Ahead of 2011
April 5, 2012
There have been more tornadoes so far this year compared to the same time period during the extremely active 2011.
According to graphs provided by the Storm Prediction Center, there were 379 preliminary tornado reports through March 25 in 2012. Compared to past years, this is a very busy start to the severe weather and tornado season.
There was a total of 154 tornadoes from January through March of 2011. The three-year average number of tornadoes in January, February and March add up to 124.
The only other recent year where the number of tornadoes surpassed this year was in 2008, when 491 tornadoes touched down through March 25.
The March 2, 2012, Tornado Outbreak was the biggest of 2012 with 132 tornado reports and at least 61 confirmed tornadoes so far.
We are in a very active tornado and storm season.
More on this in an upcoming video. But the thumbnail is, it is too early to tell if there is a trend in tornadoes related to rising global temperature. Total numbers of tornadoes reported has gone up, but new technology and changes in reporting practices are no doubt a large component of the picture.
Improved spotting and meteorological techniques have no doubt raised the numbers of smaller tornadoes that are being detected. Meanwhile, the number of large, destructive tornado reports shows no meaningful trend.
If you’re keeping track, ClimateProgress has an excellent page of info and analysis summarizing this.