The Tornado Report For 2014


By: - Climate DepotMarch 18, 2015 8:29 PM

The Tornado Report For 2014

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/the-tornado-report-for-2014/

With increased National Doppler radar coverage, increasing population, and greater attention to tornado reporting, there has been an increase in the number of tornado reports over the past several decades. This can create a misleading appearance of an increasing trend in tornado frequency. To better understand the variability and trend in tornado frequency in the United States, the total number of EF-1 and stronger, as well as strong to violent tornadoes (EF-3 to EF-5 category on the Enhanced Fujita scale) can be analyzed. These tornadoes would have likely been reported even during the decades before Doppler radar use became widespread and practices resulted in increasing tornado reports. The bar charts below indicate there has been little trend in the frequency of the stronger tornadoes over the past 55 years.

By Paul Homewood The NOAA Storm Prediction Center has now finalised the tornado count for 2014, giving a total of 888, of which 476 were the weakest EF-0 category. Changes in observation practices in recent years mean that many more of these weakest tornadoes are reported nowadays, as NOAA confirm: Today, nearly all of the United States is reasonably well populated, or at least covered by NOAA’s Doppler weather radars. Even if a tornado is not actually observed, modern damage assessments by National Weather Service personnel can discern if a tornado caused the damage, and if so, how strong the tornado may have been. This disparity between tornado records of the past and current records contributes a great deal of uncertainty regarding questions about the long-term behavior or patterns of tornado occurrence. Improved tornado observation practices have led to an increase in the number of reported weaker tornadoes, and in recent years EF-0 tornadoes have become more prevelant in the total number of reported tornadoes. In addition, even today many smaller tornadoes still may go undocumented in places with low populations or inconsistent communication facilities. With increased National Doppler radar coverage, increasing population, and greater attention to tornado reporting, there has been an increase in the number of tornado reports over the past several decades. This can create a misleading appearance of an increasing trend in tornado frequency. To better understand the variability and trend in tornado frequency in the United States, the total number of EF-1 and stronger, as well as strong to violent tornadoes (EF-3 to EF-5 category on the Enhanced Fujita scale) can be analyzed. These tornadoes would have likely been reported even during the decades before Doppler radar use became widespread and practices resulted in increasing tornado reports. The bar charts below indicate there has been little trend in the frequency of the stronger tornadoes over the past 55 years. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/climate-information/extreme-events/us-tornado-climatology/trends [As noted previously, NOAA then go on to show the graph excluding EF-0’s only up to 2012 in the obscure “Historical Records” page, whereas on their front page for the Annual 2014 Report, they show this thoroughly fraudulent chart, which includes the EF-0 tornadoes] http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/tornadoes/2014/13 [ Quick note – The original Fujita grading system, using “F” numbers, was replaced in 2007 by the Enhanced Fujita scale, hence “EF” numbers. The new system was designed to ensure compatibility with the original Fujita scale- see here. All references to either Fujita or Enhanced Fujita should be regarded as interchangeable] The tornado count excluding EF-0 was 412 last year, making it the 12th lowest year since 1970. (Although tornado records go back to 1950, many tornado experts, such as McCarthy & Schaeffer, regard the data prior to 1970 as unreliable). The downward trend seems to be largely due to the higher numbers in the 1970’s. There were 27 of the stronger EF-3+ tornadoes last year well below the long term average of 43. Since 1970 there have been fourteen years with less than 30 of these stronger tornadoes, and these include the last three years. There were none of the violent tornadoes, EF-5’s, last year, and both EF-3’s and EF-4’s were below average. 2014 1970-2014 Average EF-3 20 34.2 EF-4 7 7.7 EF-5 0 0.8 It is a similar story with the Tornado Intensity Index. The Index works in a slightly similar fashion to the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE), used for hurricanes. Wind speeds, per the EF Category, are cubed for each tornado (excl EF-0) and summed for each year. For more detail, see here.

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