Mississippi State Professor: “Number Of Tornadoes Has Dropped Dramatically”. NOAA: “Related To Natural Fluctuations”

The German online Die Zeit here takes a look at the series of tornadoes that have ravaged the USA and conducted an interview with US meteorologist and Mississippi State University professor Grady Dixon.

Meteorology professor Grady Dixon: "Terrible mistake" to relate tornado up-tick to climate change. (Photo source: Mississippi State University)

Die Zeit asks the question: “Herr Dixon, is the number of such lethal storms rising in the USA?” Dixon replies:

No, to the contrary. Over the long term the number of deadly tornadoes has even dropped dramatically. […] However, we have to expect that more people will be hit by tornadoes in the future. Not because there are more storms, but because the population is growing and suburbs and cities are expanding. In any case, 2011 is an unusually violent tornado year and it is just a fluke.”

Dixon is also asked if climate change favors the creation of more tornadoes. Dixon answers:

Research results are mixed on this. […] But all indications show that it does not necessarily mean that tornadoes will be increasing in frequency.”

On the frequency of tornadoes, Dixon is also quoted by the English-language France 24 here:

‘It’s having to do with better (weather tracking) technology, more population, the fact that the population is better educated and more aware. So we’re seeing them more often,’ Dixon said.

But he said it would be ‘a terrible mistake’ to relate the up-tick to climate change.”

France 24 also quotes a FEMA official:

Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), also dismissed Thursday climate change as a factor in the deadly tornadoes: ‘Actually what we’re seeing is springtime,’ he said.

‘Many people think of Oklahoma as ‘Tornado Alley and forget that the southeast United States actually has a history of longer and more powerful tornadoes that stay on the ground longer’.”

Many weeks back I recall Joe Bastardi predicting a humdinger of a tornado season, and of course we now see that his warnings were spot on. This spike in tornadoes is not due to warmth, but to cooling brought on by La Nina, with cold northern air smashing into warm, moist southern air.

David Imy from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma adds:

We knew it was going to be a big tornado year. But the key to that tip-off was unrelated to climate change: It is related to the natural fluctuations of the planet.”

A rare moment of sanity coming from the NOAA? Sorry Romm, but on this one you’re a lone fool (again) out in the desert.

Unrelated: Benny Peiser brings or attention to news that a Global Climate Treaty Is DOA. Looks like Europe will be joining Romm out in the desert.

10 responses to “Mississippi State Professor: “Number Of Tornadoes Has Dropped Dramatically”. NOAA: “Related To Natural Fluctuations””

  1. Mississippi » Blog Archive » Mississippi State Professor: “Number Of Tornadoes Has Dropped …

    […] Posted in Hurricanes/Tornados | Leave a response […]

  2. DirkH

    “Looks like Europe will be joining Romm out in the desert.”

    Yes! In the North African desert! As soon as we’re finished bombing Libya!

    They really should have left us an opportunity to throw out braindead EU commissars… maybe then we would have less braindead policies.

  3. Harold Brooks

    In your headline, you misquoted Dixon. Dixon did not say that the number of tornadoes has dropped dramatically. There is no evidence for that. He is correctly quoted in the article you cite: “Over the long term the number of deadly tornadoes has even dropped dramatically.” Tornadoes that have caused fatalities have dropped in half.

  4. DirkH

    Britain running out of wind. Is there nothing that can work as planned? SCHELLNHUBER!…

  5. M White

    “Germany pledges to end all nuclear power by 2022”


  6. Jimbo

    M White,
    You beat me to it. 🙂

    BBC – 30 May, 2011
    Germany pledges to end all nuclear power by 2022

    Germany’s ruling coalition says it has agreed a date of 2022 for the shutdown of all of its nuclear power plants.

    Environment Minister Norbert Rottgen made the announcement after a meeting of the ruling coalition that lasted into the early hours of Monday.

    1. M White
      1. Jimbo

        Thanks, I am aware that France is a heavy user of nuclear energy. It will be interesting to see if Germany imports more French nuclear energy after 2022?

        To me this is the most extensive experiment to test whether we can survive on just alternative energy without nuclear. It should spell the death knell of wind and solar. We live in interesting times. 😉

  7. Jim Hobelman

    According to Wikipedia the number of F-5’s in the US per decade is as
    follows –

    1950-59 12
    1960-69 11
    1970-79 14
    1980-89 3
    1990-99 10
    2000-09 2

    Comparing counts of weaker tornadoes over time is problematical due to the
    much more complete reporting today of small tornadoes as a result of radar,etc.

    However the counts of F5’s are probably not affected by this trend. They were
    never easy not to notice. The above statistics certainly don’t suggest any marked increasing trend.

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