Though the United States may be enduring through the deadliest year for tornadoes in nearly 60 years, there is no link between the twisters and climate change, according to a top US weather expert.
However, the spiking death toll from the tornadoes are more likely to be from the rise in mobile homes and chance paths of tornadoes that have hit populated areas.
Harold Brooks, a research meteorologist at the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) commented on this year’s twisters, calling it an “extraordinary outlier”.
A massive tornado hit Joplin, Missouri this weekend, killing over 89 people. This month has seen dozens of storms strike across seven states and kill 354 people, in one of the deadlier years for tornadoes.
But after consulting the U.S. records on tornado reports, “we see no correlation between global or US national temperature and tornado occurrence,” Brooks said.
“The biggest single demographic change that probably affects things is that the fraction of mobile homes in the United States has increased over the years,” he said.
Things that can be tossed into the air, like mobile homes and cars, can be deadly in a twister, and people are urged to find shelter underground.
Also, the storms themselves have not been getting bigger, the evidence shows, though it may seem that way after learning about the storms that cut a six-mile long, half-mile deep stretch of land in Missouri.
Since 1950, when modern records of tornadoes began, the deadliest outbreak recorded was on April 3, 1974, when the “Super Outbreak”, a series of 148 tornadoes swept across 13 states in a 24-hour period, claiming 310 lives.
Photo Credit: www.ci.garland.tx.us/NR/rdonlyres/EED8DEAE-250C-4835-8C77-291C406E176A/0/tornado1.jpg