Climate and Tornadoes Still a Puzzle

May 22, 2022

2 dead now accounted for in this week’s F3 Tornado in Gaylord, MI – the last town of any size as you drive north to the Mackinac Bridge.
We’re not used to this kind of thing in the North Country. People don’t have storm shelters. These are the kind of pictures we are used to seeing from Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas.
The dramatic changes in detection technology of the last 30 years make it hard to assess climate’s impact on tornado numbers or severity, but some progress is being made. I’m working on a piece for Yale that should be done, fingers crossed, soon. One expert I spoke to was Martha Shulski, the Nebraska State Climatologist, and a professor at University of Nebraska.

I did a piece a few months ago following a massive Derecho-driven tornado outbreak just 10 days before Christmas, 2021, below, which sheds some light.

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