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.
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.