Tornado Behavior Is Changing and We Still Don't Know Why

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Published on March 4, 2019 - Duration: 01:26s

Tornado Behavior Is Changing and We Still Don't Know Why

Where and when tornadoes occur is changing, and scientists haven't found a good explanation yet.


Tornado Behavior Is Changing and We Still Don't Know Why

For all their ferocity, tornadoes in the U.S. tend to be brief and unpredictable.

Now, more are touching down where they used to be rare, and they're arriving in groups instead of one at a time — and so far, scientists can't say exactly why.

The Plains states that make up the traditional Tornado Alley still see most of the country's tornadoes.

But in recent years, tornadoes have grown  more frequent  in the Midwest and Southeast, too.

It's also less likely that you'll see a day with a single tornado and more likely that  multiple tornadoes  will touch down in the same region on the same day or days.

The storms in these outbreaks are often  more severe , too.

Experts still can't say for sure how much of this new behavior is due to climate change.

They're still getting mixed signals.

The shift in where storms happen is consistent with a warmer overall climate, for example, but climate change models  didn't anticipate  more and stronger storms in shorter periods.

On top of that, tornadoes are simply tough to forecast or fit to patterns to begin with.

They spawn in seconds and often vanish just as quickly.

SEE MORE: Tornadoes Kill At Least 23 In Eastern Alabama Scientists agree we need more information because as tornado behavior changes, so does the risk they present to the landscape.  Cities are growing  and development is increasing, which is one of the few things we know for sure could make tornadoes more dangerous.

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