Severe Weather Climatology
Climatología de Tiempo Severo
Apr 29, 2015
Spring is fully in gear, and that means the atmosphere is warming after the chill of winter. But it also means severe weather season is approaching its annual peak.
Driven by the seasonal rise in temperatures and humidity, severe thunderstorms will continue to pop up, bringing the dangers of damaging winds, hail, and tornadoes. And one study from researchers at Stanford and Purdue Universities suggests that the environment that produces severe thunderstorms will be more common in a warming world.
But tornado formation is a complex process. In addition to the fuel provided by the warm and humid air, wind shear is needed to generate spin. Plus, a trigger is needed to start the convective process, which is often provided by a cold front or a dry line. How those latter two factors will evolve in a warming world is still unclear.
What scientists do know is that the number of days with at least one tornado happening in the continental U.S. is decreasing — but that we’re seeing more tornadoes per day when they do happen. Further complicating matters is that tornado detection has improved over the past few decades. Harold Brooks, of NOAA’s National Severe Storm Laboratory, emphasizes that “climate models indicate an increase in this variability in the future.”
Dec 20, 2017
2017 was the year of the billion-dollar disaster. There have been 15 billion-dollar weather-related disasters in the U.S. in 2017, and the year may finish as the costliest on record.
Sep 13, 2017
From back-to-back landfalling hurricanes in the East to drought and fires in the West, this has been a summer of climate extremes.
May 10, 2016
While there are fewer days each year with tornadoes, on average, the number days with more than 30 tornadoes is increasing.