CLEVELAND - Where have all the tornadoes gone?
Last month, I posted about the number of tornadoes being very near the lowest number ever recorded for the first seven months of the year. Well, now, the number of reported tornadoes in the US has dropped even further.
As of Aug 18, adjusted U.S. tornado numbers are at 609 for the year. That busts the previous record low number of twisters from Jan. 1 through Aug. 18 of 627.
The database is 60 years long.
Last year was also a low year, and we are 200 tornadoes shy of the 2012 numbers. The average number of tornadoes by Aug. 18 should be closer to 1210. So, the U.S. this year has seen roughly half of the average.
And don't expect much of a recovery for the rest of the year.
"We are well past the time of peak tornado activity, which typically occurs in spring,' said Meteorologist Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That, "While we could certainly see a rebound, it is statistically unlikely."
This also coincides with the decline of strong to violent tornadoes across the U.S. since the 1970s. Note the graph showing EF-3 to EF-5 tornadoes declining since about 1974.
So, what's the reason for the lack of activity? It's most likely the deep intrusions of cooler air masses from Canada that seep through the plains all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. This effectively shuts off the warm moist air and keeps it from moving north into the US.
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A winter storm delivered a sloppy smorgasbord of snow, freezing rain and sleet to the southern Mid-Atlantic region and other states Sunday, with parts of Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey seeing more than 3 inches of accumulation.
There was a mix of snow and slush on the roadways Friday as snowstorms from the south pushed their way into Northeast Ohio.