Tornadoes are something everyone is familiar with. All spring and fall we keep an eye on the skies for fear of these dangerous land sprouts that can cause miles of destruction. But the scariest part of these isolated storms is they aren’t so isolated anymore. We are seeing an increase of tornado clusters, which are several tornados that span over several days, and involve multiple touchdowns.
These outbreaks are becoming a major fear as even scientists have noticed an increase in such patterns. A good example of these outbreaks is the April 25th- to April 28th outbreak in 2011. This outbreak set in motion a total of somewhere around 350 tornadoes all across the central and southern part of the United States. It killed more than 300 people and left huge amounts of destruction everywhere.
According to Michael Tippett, who researches climate and weather research at the School of Applied Science and Engineering and also the data Science Institute which both belong to Columbia University in New York, states 79% of tornado deaths occur during a Tornado outbreak. His data also shows that the number of tornadoes during an outbreak is on an increase. This research also shows that the sheer number of outbreaks is on an increase. These findings were published in the journal Nature Communications on Feb 29th, 2016.
Recent updates of this study have been comparing climate change to the increase of these major clusters, but no evidence has been found to support or deny. What they have found is climate change doesn’t directly change wind patterns, but this doesn’t mean it does or doesn’t change how many storms we seen in a single season. Research is also moving into comparing the ocean waters in connection to these highly damage tornado clusters. Scientists are studying these storms, and will hopefully have answers to what the future weather patterns may have in store for everyone that has to share this planet.