With Storms for Nearly Two Weeks, Twisters in “Uncharted Territory”

May 29, 2019

Above – Oklahoma TV Met – “I’ve never seen that before…”

Difficulty quantifying changes in twisters over decades, in part because technology has changed so drastically for detecting storms in last 30 years.

More research needed, but this year’s season may break records.

New York Times:

Tuesday was the 12th consecutive day with at least eight tornado reports, breaking the record, according to Dr. Marsh. The storms have drawn their fuel from two sources: a high-pressure area that pulled the Gulf of Mexico’s warm, moist air into the central United States, where it combined with the effects of a trough trapped over the Rockies, which included strong winds.
“We are flirting in uncharted territory,” Dr. Marsh said of the sustained period of severe weather. “Typically, you’d see a break of a day or two in between these long stretches, but we’re just not getting that right now.”
Forecasters said that even the briefest of reprieves might not come until late this week, and another round of severe weather erupted on Tuesday afternoon.
Climate change is increasingly linked to extreme weather, but limited historical information, especially when compared with temperature data that goes back more than a century, has made it difficult for researchers to determine whether rising temperatures are making tornadoes more common and severe.

Kerry A. Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in hurricanes, noted that the science of the connection between tornadoes and climate change is simply less comprehensive that what researchers have compiled on tropical cyclones.

Dealing with tornadoes and climate change, he said, is “absolutely complicated,” and there are relatively few papers that discuss tornadoes and climate because “it’s almost impossible to see any signal in the data.” What’s more, he said, the data of the current generation of radar technology goes back to only about 1990, a shorter period than that for good hurricane data.
But researchers have found that tornadoes are increasingly clustered in short periods of time.
In Ohio on Tuesday, residents and emergency officials were responding to the destruction that happened overnight, when radars glowed with the telltale signatures of violent storms. The worst of the weather unfolded just before midnight in and around Dayton, where the authorities reported “significant” damage and trouble with the local water system.
The federal government said Tuesday that its initial reports showed at least 10 tornado touchdowns across six counties, which were left to contend with spotty phone service, blocked streets, boil-water advisories and sporadic evacuations.


Whether or not climate change has had an impact on the occurrence of tornadoes in the United States has become a question of high public and scientific interest, but changes in how tornadoes are reported have made it difficult to answer it convincingly. We show that, excluding the weakest tornadoes, the mean annual number of tornadoes has remained relatively constant, but their variability of occurrence has increased since the 1970s. This is due to a decrease in the number of days per year with tornadoes combined with an increase in days with many tornadoes, leading to greater variability on annual and monthly time scales and changes in the timing of the start of the tornado season.
Tornadoes clustering in greater numbers

Will global warming cause more tornadoes? If so, that has not happened yet. Brooks et al.compiled data on the occurrence of tornadoes in the United States between 1954 and 2013 to determine if and how tornado numbers have changed. Although the authors saw no clear trend in the annual number of tornadoes, they did see more clusters of tornadoes since the 1970s. In other words, there has been a decrease in the number of days per year with tornadoes but an increase in the number of days with multiple tornadoes. Why this clustering effect has occurred is not clear.


14 Responses to “With Storms for Nearly Two Weeks, Twisters in “Uncharted Territory””

  1. Terry Donte Says:

    This is weather. There are zero studies which prove the weather is more severe, there are a number of studies showing zero increase in intensity and number.
    Here is a comparison with a 1993 super-storm as one example that this is weather.

    There is a real problem. A huge population increase building in flood plains and in high wind areas without a thought or care as to how to build to minimize the damage to life and property. That is the real problem and always has been, Katrina is an example as is the recent Houston flooding.

    The world is warming from mostly increased solar output since the little ice age low. CO2 is not doing enough warming to make any difference in comparison to the sun. That does not mean we do not need to get rid of pollution from coal plants and other fossil fuel burning as much as possible. The problem is storage of renewable energy. There is no technical fix at present for cheap, high capacity storage. That leaves nuclear as an option for base line power but that runs into the anti nuclear cult beliefs.

    • dumboldguy Says:


    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      The world is warming from mostly increased solar output since the little ice age low.

      Absolutely wrong.
      (1) Solar output is at a relative low over the past few decades.
      (2) As you yourself pointed out, the stratosphere is cooling while the troposphere is warming. This is a clear signature of increased greenhouse gases.
      (3) Based on the Milankovitch Cycles, we should be starting to head into a major ice age, but instead are dealing with melting ice caps, a weakened northern jet stream, and massive die-offs of coral in warming oceans.

      CO2 is not doing enough warming to make any difference in comparison to the sun.

      You complete ninny! The greenhouse gases warm the earth by trapping energy sent in by the sun. If the insolation were higher than it is, even more infrared radiation would be trapped.

      Rain bombs are more frequent than they were 100 years ago. While Houston has really bad flood-management problems, nobody in Texas builds for over four feet of rain over a wide area over a few days because it is unprecedented. Increasingly stalled jet streams, warmer seas and warmer air means we will continue to break rainfall records. Inland neighborhoods in the Miami area are flooding from the ground up due to sea level rise percolating through the permeable rock.

    • redskylite Says:

      “This is weather. There are zero studies which prove the weather is more severe,”

      Who needs studies – listen to the professionals that have to deal with the result of the climate shifting. It’s real. Use yiour cmmon sense.

      “The general trend all over the world is areas that are dry become more dry and areas that are wet become more wet.”

      Norway has seen a 5% rise in rainfall over recent years, says Rynning-Tonnesen.

      Others say planning processes behind dam building have to be revised in the face of climate change.


    • redskylite Says:

      “That leaves nuclear as an option for base line power but that runs into the anti nuclear cult beliefs.”

      There is no cult – there are a few protesters left from a different age and time – but they are largely ignored. It is business and financial cost of dealing with tiny particles that is keeping the nuclear option down. Also the growth of alternates.

      I can see what you are trying to do, but you are 50 years behind and totally out of step.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Although “cult” may not be the perfect word for the general situation, the mindless science-denying anti-nukers ARE still with us in good numbers, and it IS appropriate for them. You will find them in the same section of the encyclopedia as the anti-vaxxers and the flat-earthers. It’s too soon to tear those pages out.

  2. grindupbaker Says:

    “The world is warming from mostly increased solar output since the little ice age low. CO2 is not doing enough warming to make any difference in comparison to the sun”. Oh dear. You were doing well by me until then because I’ve no knowledge or interest in statistics for this or that irrelevant scrap of Earth’s surface. You’ve highlighted the difference between having a brain that collects statistics and having a brain for science & mathematics that’s functional. You don’t have the functional style.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      The real question is whether he has a functional brain—-if he were an electric panel in a house, all the breakers would be flipping and sparks would be flying every time he assembled a bunch of logic and truth short circuits like this mess of a comment.

  3. dumboldguy Says:

    Very interesting video clip—can’t recall anything like it. Some terrific Youtube tornado clips “pop” after it finishes, including one of “dueling tornadoes” that is awesome (and some of the storm chasers border on insane).

    A look back at the “extreme weather—-Alaska ridge and southwest trough” clip in the “tweeting twisters” post on Crock gives some evidence as to why tornadoes are “clustering”. We CAN lay the blame at the door of AGW, since that has caused the changes in the jet stream that lead to the new flow patterns.

  4. Terry Donte Says:

    You folks are very good at the insults and not so good at looking at the actual data. That is why the thugs of the world do so well. They find people like you to do the dirty work, Nazis SS come to mind as one example, and that grab all the power for themselves.

    We do have a pollution problem, any trip to the third world illustrates the problem. We do have a problem with resource destruction from folks who do not care about the future for our kids. We do have a problem from folks who believe and never bother to look things up themselves.

    If you believe an opinion is not supported than bring forth your data, not some quote from a talking head and lay it out. Reality is not quotes, not opinions, it simply is.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      So, Crock is now populated by THUGS and NAZIS? And the SS in particular?

      Seeg hile, you moron!

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      You folks are very good at the insults and not so good at looking at the actual data.

      The last data you showed us was that of a cooling stratosphere while we have a warming troposphere, which is a sign that we are warming from greenhouse gases.

      Don’t pull that bullshit victimhood crap by remarking on insults when you are implying incompetence or misfeasance on the part of the world’s climate scientists as you echoing long-refuted, doubt-mongering political talking points. Peter Sinclair interviews working scientists and provides well-annotated visualizations of data. You make unsupported assertions (Miami is subsiding, cooling stratosphere contradicts climate scientists, sun heating up in the last three decades to account for rapidly increasing global heat, etc.) while telling us we don’t look at the data.

      Where do you get your data?

      • dumboldguy Says:

        The data is PFTA, which in addition to “Plucked From Thin Air”, can also mean “Plucked From Terry’s Anus”. Pardon me while I goose step to the fridge for cool one.

    • redskylite Says:

      Herr Donte,

      “We do have a pollution problem, any trip to the third world illustrates the problem.”

      You may note that the “third world” is returning the junk sent by the “First World” – so you have to process your own junk in future. Enjoy.

      Philippines ships 69 containers of dumped rubbish back to Canada

      Just days earlier, Malaysia announced it was shipping 450 tonnes of imported plastic waste back to its sources, including Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the United States.


      Ich würde mich freuen, bald von Ihnen zu hören

Leave a Reply to dumboldguy Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: