Data suggests tornado drought over past year - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Data suggests tornado drought over past year

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The extremely early warm up in 2012 kept the severe weather season across the country early and short. The peak of severe weather season occurred in March. The number of tornadoes in April 2012 through the summer was well below normal due to the early summer like weather. Dry weather and drought dominated tornado alley most of the year keeping thunderstorms and tornadoes away from the heart of the country. As the drought continued the "tornado drought" developed. Some researchers are nicknaming the lack of tornadoes across the country as a "tornado drought". Statistically the number of strong tornadoes in the country has been very interesting in the past couple of years.

The weather pattern flipped over to a wetter but colder pattern this past winter that has yet to lift. The cold weather has delayed the start of severe weather season so far in 2013. As a result, the past year has left a near record low number of strong tornadoes in the country. Statistical models estimate the low number of twisters from this past year happens about once every 55,556 years. On the flip side, two years before it (2010 to 2011) was the most active time on record for EF1 or stronger tornadoes. This includes several massive tornado outbreaks including the Joplin tornado in 2011 and other EF5 twisters. That number of strong tornadoes is only estimated to occur about once every 1,164 years. So in the world of tornado statistics, the country just went from an extreme high number of twisters to an extreme low in just a couple of years.

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