Continuing a tornado season that is off to a record pace, at least 10 tornadoes tore through Florida and Georgia Friday, leaving two dead in Florida, according to press reports.
The early start to the tornado season, which would normally only now be getting underway, came about as unusually warm winter air masses moved across the United States. Tornadoes outbreaks have occurred at least three times already this year, at a time of year that is typically quiet for tornadoes.
Some research suggests that the United States should brace for more tornadoes and strong thunderstorms as the climate warms.
A La Nina a colder-than-usual pattern of water in the Southern Pacific that is unusually strong and persistent may also be playing a role.
According to the Chicago Tribune:
This winter's snowier and colder winter weather here appears tied to one of the strongest La Ninas in recent years. Analysts at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center are drawing parallels with the strong 1998-99 La Nina while UKMET analysts are calling this the strongest La Nina since 1988-89. A prolific 1999 spring tornado season in the Plains may have been one of the La Nina's byproducts while the summer of 1988 produced intense heat--Chicago recorded more 90s than ever before 47 versus the 21 considered normal.
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