US Tornado Count So Low That It's Invaded The Legend…

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Storm Prediction Center – Click the pic to view at source

Image Credit: NOAA – Storm Prediction Center

By WUWT Regular Just The Facts

US Tornadoes are currently on pace for a record low annual tornado count, which has penetrated deep into the legend in the graph above and is relevant globally, as the US represents about 75 percent of the world’s recorded tornadoes. Last week I pointed out that the Atlantic Hurricane Season was the Quietest in 45 Years and the week before that I showed that Antarctic Sea Ice Didn’t Get The Memo That It Was Supposed To Melt. It is amazing how easy alarmist scare forecasts/predictions  can be falsified with readily available data, e.g. from TheHill.com:

“Former Vice President Al Gore lamented on Tuesday that scientists “won’t let us yet” link tornadoes to climate change.

Gore alluded to last month’s devastating twister in Moore, Okla., saying that shoddy historical statistics are preventing a connection between ‘these record-breaking tornadoes and the climate crisis.'”

“Gore said there’s a political interest in determining climate change causes extreme weather. He said lawmakers cannot address the root of disasters without first making a connection between emissions, climate change and extreme weather.

Failing to acknowledge that connection will imperil future relief efforts as disasters grow more frequent and expensive, Gore said.”

“Insurance agencies and climate activists contend the government will be increasingly on the hook for disaster cleanup as a result of climate change. They say storms are growing fiercer, subjecting more areas to disaster-related damage that private insurers are hesitant to cover.”

“Making a connection between emissions, climate change and extreme weather”? “Storms are growing fiercer”? Where? Perhaps buried in the rest of the Tornado data?:

US Tornadoes Daily Count and Running Annual Trend

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Storm Prediction Center – Click the pic to view at source

US Strong to Violent Tornadoes (EF3-EF5*) – Annual Count 1950 to Present

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) – Click the pic to view at source

US Tornadoes (EF1-EF5*) – Annual Count 1950 to Present

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) – Click the pic to view at source

US Inflation Adjusted Annual Tornado Trend and Percentile Ranks

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Storm Prediction Center- Click the pic to view at source

That doesn’t appear very “fierce”. In fact the Inflation Adjusted Annual Tornado count appears to be 100 tornadoes below the Minimum through Nov. 02. Of note tornado counts are Inflation Adjusted;

“because the increase in tornado reports over the last 54 years is almost entirely due to secular trends such as population increase, increased tornado awareness, and more robust and advanced reporting networks. NOAA – Storm Prediction Center

However, even if there hasn’t been an increase in tornadoes due to “Global Warming”, “Climate Change”, Global Climate Disruption”, Global Weirding, or whatever it’s called today, there apparently is still reason to worry, at least according to USA Today:

“Deadly and destructive thunderstorms — and the violent tornadoes they produce — are forecast to see a “robust” increase across parts of the U.S. in upcoming decades because of climate change, says a new, first-of-its-kind study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

“The study is one of the first that’s found such a link between climate change and severe storms. Most previous research has been inconclusive.”

“Diffenbaugh’s study co-authors were Martin Scherer of Stanford and Robert Trapp of Purdue University. The research team used a group of complex climate computer models to look at how the atmosphere will react to global warming.”

Here’s the Diffenbaugh paper “Robust increases in severe thunderstorm environments in response to greenhouse forcing“, the abstract states that:

Severe thunderstorms are one of the primary causes of catastrophic loss in the United States. However, the response of such storms to elevated greenhouse forcing has remained highly uncertain. We use an ensemble of global climate model experiments to probe the severe thunderstorm response. We find that this ensemble exhibits robust increases in the occurrence of severe thunderstorm environments over the eastern United States. In addition, the simulated changes in the atmospheric environment indicate an increase in the number of days supportive of the spectrum of convective hazards, with the suggestion of a possible increase in the number of days supportive of tornadic storms.

“Simulated changes in the atmospheric environment” provide “the suggestion of a possible increase in the number of days supportive of tornadic storms”? Translated, assuming that the atmosphere gets a lot warmer, which shows no signs of doing, then we guess that there will be more tornadoes, though the warming in the second half of the 20th century does not appear to have has this effect.

The data shows no increase in tornado counts or strength. Claims about increasing or more dangerous Tornadoes are unfounded.

There is not yet a WUWT Tornado Reference Page, but the WUWT “Extreme Weather” Page offers graphs and graphics on an array of “Extreme Weather” events including Tornadoes, and the WUWT Tornado Reference Page is under development. If you have any suggested graphs or graphics for inclusion in the WUWT Tornado Reference Page, please post them in comments below.

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H.R.

“US Tornadoes are currently on pace for a record low annual tornado count, …”
Now that is weird weather, but not the kind the alarmists have been pushing.

lemiere jacques

well it means now the count is at a legendary level.

I have a prediction, though somewhat informal
Next years storm counts will be closer to normal
But still low (a fact which Believers lamented)
With “year-over-year increase unprecedented!”
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Greg

“US Tornadoes are currently on pace for a record low annual tornado count, which has penetrated deep into the legend in the graph above and is relevant globally, ”
That’s really _weird_ ! Tornadoes being so low is not right. It’s unprecedented.
Unprecedented tornado count , every rising CO2… join the dots. This kind of climate disruption is exactly what has been predicited to result from climate change.
This is a huge wake up call, it’s the new “normal”.

geran

Again, thanks for the research JTF.
At this point, Gore is so committed he can not turn back. His car is speeding to the cliff, and he continues to push the pedal to the floor!

I thought that most tornadoes in the US were from the huge temperature difference between the NW and the SE in spring, when still cold winds from the NW hit the already warm/wet air masses at the other side of the Rockies… What then is the origin of the extra number of tornadoes in late fall/winter in some years but not in other years?

sophocles

The National Academy of Sciences said:
“…are forecast to see a “robust” increase across parts of the U.S. in upcoming decades because of climate change …”
===========================================================
Unfortunately, they may be correct but not for the reasons they are thinking.
If past records are any hint, the onset of cooling can bring bad storms, (from
Brian Fagan’s book “The Little Ice Age”), not warming.
The AMO and PDO have turned over, the Sun is sliding into another minimum
and cooling is already apparent (only slight, so far but…) so the next ten years
are going to be interesting …

Ferdinand
Autumn tornadoes often result from hurricane activity.
Paul

It’s extremely unextreme.
And next year, no doubt, NOAA will be bragging off about “a big jump in tornado numbers from last year”.

Pat Frank

When I gave my seminar at Stanford on the reliability of climate model air temperature projections, Noah Diffenbaugh was in the audience. He didn’t like the conclusion that climate models have zero predictive ability, following directly from error propagation, but could not mount any serious objection when he challenged the result during the question period. Nevertheless, he’s gone on to claim incipient disaster based on model projections alone.

milodonharlani

Here are the average monthly tornado numbers, as compiled by NOAA:
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/severeweather/tornadoes.html

It is no secret that tornado numbers this year are at almost record lows.
So why do NOAA continue to show this highly misleading, and I would contend deliberately so, graph, which shows a steady increase in tornado numbers since the 1950’s, and even this year being higher than most years in the early part of the record?
http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/tornado/2013/sep/tornado-counts-0109-2013.png
The reason for this apparent increase is simply that many small tornadoes are now counted that would not have been in the past. The actual tornado experts at NOAA know this full well, and have explained this effect many times, for instance:
http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/historical-tornado-records/
So, I repeat, why are NOAA knowingly issuing false information?

Less dangerous tornadoes are a good thing, but still weather lol

BarryW

Maybe we should take Gore up on his connection of AGW to severe weather. We just need to point out the inverse correlation that exists. Global warming will reduce damaging storms and loss of life and property. Bring on global warming!

Ed P

I’ve coined a new word for a person unwilling to accept their errors: A Goron.

rogerknights

NOAA should swap the locations of its logo and its legend.

Liz

OT – is there an explanation as to why the graphs/pictures in the sea ice page are not being updated? There are many US based sites which still list 10/22 or 10/25 as the date of last update.
Concerning tornadoes, it would be interesting to see a graph with El Nino – La Nina years vs the number and location of the storms. Also link the drought conditions to storms.
In the OKC area, the three major TV stations have helicopters which they send up in storm conditions as well as lots of storm chasers. With improvements in radars, the guys in the studios are sending the chasers to specific areas and more tornadoes are being identified. This identification in turn improves understanding of the radar results.

Berényi Péter

We use an ensemble of global climate model experiments to probe the severe thunderstorm response. We find that this ensemble exhibits robust increases in the occurrence of severe thunderstorm environments over the eastern United States.

Wonderful, that’s how science is supposed to work. The method is called indirect proof and here we can see one of its most ingenious applications. As number of severe thunderstorms is in fact decreasing with increased GHG forcing, the paper demonstrates beyond doubt that the ensemble of global climate models used by the authors is crap. A huge contribution to our scientific understanding, Diffenbaugh, Scherer &. Trapp can be proud of this achievement indeed.

bones

Kudos to Doppler radar and the storm chasers. It was very nice to be told in advance to seek shelter from the tornado that removed my roof and other parts of my house last May.

Txomin

Spoilsport.

stephen

there probably hiding in the deep oceans with the heat sarc/

“So, I repeat, why are NOAA knowingly issuing false information?”
Yes, and in other news … bears still shit in the woods.

Henry

At least you can see 2013 on top of the legend. 2012 seems to be under the legend.

Gore is right! There is a clear correlation between increased tornado activity and changing climate. Unfortunately for him, the colder parts of the cycle have the most tornadoes. Warmer weather creates less airmass clashes and therefore less tornadic activity. This is weather 101.

This low tornado-count is legendary. (Hyuk hyuk hyuk.)
As Paul Homewood points out, many of the late summer tornados are connected with tropical storms and hurricanes. Even the small tropical storms can have a small twister or two in the rain bands. The lack of tropical activity explains the flatness of the graph in late summer.
However there also can be a spike in October and November for the same reason there is a spike in the spring: Very cold arctic air comes down and runs into humid air that comes from Gulf of Mexico water that still remembers summer heat. The reason the fall outbreaks tend to be smaller is because the sun is lower and adds less heat. (Mid-November sunshine has the power of February’s, while mid-April sunshine has the power of August’s.)

Jimbo

Aren’t some of the years alleged to be the hottest US temperatures on the US record.
By using Warmist reasoning I can claim that global warming leads to fewer strong US tornadoes?

Jimbo

In The Hill article I read:

He said the proliferation of solar and wind energy technology is occurring across the globe at a faster pace than projected. But he said “legacy” interests in the fossil fuel industry have a stake in preventing that.
Gore compared the fossil fuel industry’s tactics about denying the link between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming to those of cigarette firms decades ago.

If Gore said words to this effect then Gore must be suffering from memory loss. I say this because of the following facts.
1) Al Gore’s investment outfit has been dis-investing from green investments.
2) Al Gore’s family got rich from big oil via Occidental Petroleum.
3) Al Gore has publicly stated that he has grown and sold tobacco.
4) Al Gore has also taken campaign contributions from tobacco lobbyists.
5) Al Gore sold his Current TV in January to oil funded Al Jazeera.
The list goes on and on. Al Gore is not the best spokesperson for the climate change movement.

geran

“I am not sure why NOAA would ever show an unadjusted count without highlighting how the improvement in measurement capabilities have caused an increase in Tornado Count.’
JTF, I know you are just waiting for us to say it—-NOAA can lie at the drop of a hat. as funding requires it.
You’re welcome.

“Gaians argue that it is a human duty to act – committing themselves in particular to the Precautionary Principle. Such views began to influence the Green Parties, Greenpeace, and a few more radical wings of the environmental movement such as the Gaia Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front. These views dominate some such groups, e.g. the Bioneers. Some refer to this political activity as a separate and radical branch of the ecology movement, one that takes the axioms of the science of ecology in general, and Gaia theory in particular, and raises them to a kind of theory of personal conduct or moral code.” Wikipedia
Who has never uttered the phrase, “Mother Earth”? Surely we are all Gaians at heart in the dark of the night. Why trot out these pointless charts and graphs based on flimsy data when any knowledgeable adult knows full well extreme weather is on the rise. We see it almost every day somewhere in the world, do we not? Have you forgotten how hot it was only a few months ago? Need you be reminded that the Arctic is almost ice-free or soon will be? Have you not heard repeatedly that “it is worse than we thought”? Just last week my neighbor said she could not remember wind such as we were having that day. Proof to her of climate change. This is not a made up story; it actually happened. Even a non-scientist can see the truth when it is almost blowing her over. Do you close your eyes when you go to the sea shore? Yes, you probably do. Well, try looking inside…on some level you must be aware that this is our fault; that we are all individually and collectively guilty? Rest assured there will be an accounting.
Which brings me to tornadoes. By actual sciencey estimate, 97% of all tomatoes target the US of A. What’s that all about? Could it have to do with the fact that per capita we in the US use more fossil fuel than any other nation? Could it be because we, without a second thought, burn in excess of one billion metric tons per month of filthy crude oil or some other very large number? It is all the fashion today to treat Albert Arnold “Al” Gore, Jr. as though he were some sort of ridiculous sock puppet. But what if Gaia is real and what if Al is right? Where does that leave deniers? Stop being so rational; go with your feelings. (sarc/off – to get by the moderators)

Frederick Michael

According to the laws of thermodynamics, reduced cyclone and tornado activity would be an obvious, first order, result of AGW.

K-Bob

If a lower tornado count was evidence of AGW, all the government charts for historical data on tornadoes would already be adjusted to account for better detection technology. I don’t think we’ll see them add this adjustment any time soon.

Mike McMillan

rogerknights says: November 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm
NOAA should swap the locations of its logo and its legend.

No, they’d have to contract that job out to a Canadian web developer, and there would go another $600 million they could have used for food stamps and voter outreach.

JimS

One should never try and confuse someone like Al Gore with facts. He just could not take it.

Frederick Michael

K-Bob says:
November 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm
If a lower tornado count was evidence of AGW, all the government charts for historical data on tornadoes would already be adjusted to account for better detection technology. I don’t think we’ll see them add this adjustment any time soon.

Hmmm. Maybe.
There’s something attractive about coupling evidence of AGW with evidence that it’s a good thing. It induces severe cognitive dissonance in the believers.

Graphs showing the relationship between lunar declinational tides in the atmosphere and tornado production can be found here;
http://research.aerology.com/lunar-declinational-affects-on-tornado-production/
And a basic explanation of how the solar/lunar tidal effects drive the meridional flow surges in the global circulation, giving rise to the predictable episodes of severe weather, that are generated when the declination of the moon goes to either maximum culmination North or South.
http://research.aerology.com/aerology-analog-weather-forecasting-method/
Maps generated for temperatures, precipitation, snowfall, and snow on ground patterns from anarchic raw data base from the past four most similar periods of the current Lunar declinational meridional tidal effects, can be used as a long term rough forecast of the current patterns to expect. The main difference between the past four cycles, and the current one is the difference in solar activity levels. Currently as a result of this difference in now lower, solar and geomagnetic activity, you can see the loopier and more equatorial positions of the frontal boundaries, in both North America, and Australia.
http://www.aerology.com/

TeaPartyGeezer

Robert Bissett says:
November 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm
“Which brings me to tornadoes. By actual sciencey estimate, 97% of all tomatoes target the US of A. What’s that all about?
I laughed. I cried. I laughed some more.

And it’s not just tornadoes either. Throw in other highly publicized indicators like Hurricanes and Arctic Sea Ice and suddenly the year 2013 AD becomes a certifiable nightmare for the alarmists. A hat-trick. A trifecta. Three strikes your out. ( Insert analogy of preference ).
So if the climate kooks don’t cry uncle this year, they never will. And that of course means it isn’t about actual Science at all. Never was. Perhaps Steve Mosher or Nick Stokes can set the record straight. Tell everyone what indicators we should be looking at?
… crickets …

Joseph Bastardi

The “second season” of tornadoes is something I have been talking about on Weatherbell.com posts. It occurs when the intensifying autumnal jet becomes strong enough to intersect warm humid air masses still capable of returning out of the gulf of Mexico. More often, because of the cooling that takes place, there is heavy rain with and behind a front as we saw in Texas, but as the front gets out further into the warm humid air you can get severe weather. The most disturbing aspect of the “second” season is it is just as likely to produce severe weather at night as during the day, as the heating of the day is not as great as the spring and the unstable air is more a product of the warm humid gulf flow, rather than needing the heat of the day, since the autumnal jet intensifies so much with some systems, Dr Greg Forbes has an excellent piece on this you can read here.
http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-central/fall-second-tornado-season-20131002
notice the graphic that shows a slight uptick in November, before it trails back off again.
Basically its the intensifying jet seizing about a warm humid air mass that is still capable of moving north off the warm gulf, only a month or two off its peak. Keep in mind that land mass heating is essential for spring as the jet does weaken, but water temps in the gulf are still 3-5 months off their peak in late August and September

Brian H

sophocles, above, bells the cat. The assertion that warming would increase storm frequency and intensity is false to start with. The reduction in storms is a sign of warming! As cooling sets in, more storms will arise, causing warmists to declare that they were right, although it isn’t (warming). A finer mess is hard to imagine.

Richard Holle says November 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm
Graphs showing the relationship between lunar declinational tides in the atmosphere and tornado production can be found here; …

Not a “first principles” link; do you have any specific tornadoes or tornado ourbreaks that do not comport this hypothesis? IOW, any cases which falsify the hypothesis …

Blade says November 3, 2013 at 8:14 pm
… A trifecta. Three strikes your out. ( Insert analogy of preference ).

… score points for proper use of a contraction, Blade: “Three strikes you’re out.”
.

Caleb says November 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm

The reason the fall outbreaks tend to be smaller is because the sun is lower and adds less heat.

The ‘Sun’ angle for mid autumn is not the same as for mid spring for the same time of day? Can this be explained using Newtonian physics alone? Or will we have to move on to Eisensteinian (relativity et al) physics?
/mild sarc
.

Blade says three strikes your out. ……hat trick…game,set ,match…….

One year with low (or high) tornado count doesn’t mean much unless there is a trend. The warmists predict a trend that doesn’t seem to be happening. Maybe by 2100 or some time that can’t be verified.
As for all the jabs at Gore. He appears to be a climate evangelist for the money and he has done very well. Can anyone seriously believe he is out to save the planet?

Mario Lento

“US Tornadoes are currently on pace for a record low annual tornado count, which has penetrated deep into the legend in the graph above and is relevant globally, ”
++++++
Uhm – are the Tornadoes hiding in the oceans waiting to come out with a vengeance? Pray tell!

_Jim says:
November 3, 2013 at 8:52 pm
Reply; The heliocentric conjunctions with the outer planets will increase or decrease the intensity of the outbreak, depending if they are in phase (occurring at the same time as the culmination of the lunar declination) or out of phase by several days, they will increase the effect when in phase, shift the peak production of total tornadoes into the time when the combined effects is the strongest by up to three or some times four days. When out of phase enough the result is a failure to produce tornado activity due to a lack of gulf moisture availability.
Outside of these known planetary effects the peak tornado production occurs when the declination of the sun and moon are closest, when the moon is close to peak culmination angle for that particular 27.32 day period declinational cycle.
Hurricanes make there fastest movement toward the poles from the time the moon crosses the equator into the hemisphere they are forming in and by the time the moon is maximum culmination North the remains of Atlantic storms are approaching New England coastal areas, and dissipating off of Newfoundland by three or four days after.
For an example Irene and Sandy both took the same paths as storms four cycles before in 1938 and 1939 took on the same relative days of the declinational cycles of 6558 day long patterns with in about 100 miles/12 hours of the same points.
Film at 11; I am putting together an animated set of maps to show this relationship, I expect to get it on line / you tube in about 6 to 8 months.

Richard Holle says November 3, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Reply; The heliocentric conjunctions with the outer planets will increase or decrease the intensity of the outbreak, …

I would feel MUCH better about this if you took one season, proceeding day by day, hour by hour on a ‘tornado outbreak’ and then ‘did the math’ to show the proposed linkage in a ’cause and effect’ or influence basis. ALL cases must be considered, even those which DO NOT align, yet, a ‘tornado outbreak’ occurred.
I don’t know if your work (or THE work) is to that detail or not, but, that is what I would have to see in order to begin to lend any credence to such theories or hypothesis (aside from calculations involving first physics principles purportedly the result of such alignments, etc.)
.

Brian H

john piccirilli says:
November 3, 2013 at 9:15 pm
Blade says three strikes your [you’re] out. ……hat trick…game,set ,match…….

Confusing and confabulating baseball and tennis? We, both use balls which are struck by implements. No other resemblances I can see. The hat trick snuck in from hockey, somehow. It uses hockey sticks, I hear.