Effects of Above Average Temperatures on Tornado Intensity and Frequency
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The heart of America is best known for its tornadoes, that is why it is called tornado alley. Previous research has been done about global warming and how possibly the warming of the earth’s overall temperature could have an effect on our storms, specifically tornadoes. Twenty five states in the central United States over a 60 year period from 1950 to 2009 were studied. The factors that were studied were whether when the temperatures were above normal temperatures, the intensity and frequency of F3 or higher tornadoes would be greater than if the temperature was normal or below normal. The data was analyzed both statistically and spatially. When the temperatures were not normal it was found that there were some statistically higher chances for F3 or higher tornadoes to occur. Also looking at the different aspect of what makes up a tornado it was found that indeed when the temperature were not normal there was a better chance that tornadoes would be more intense. It was also determined that tornadoes do seem to mainly cluster in the tornado alley region in the central United States, with small clusters scattered around the surrounding areas. In future studies it was recommended to simply keep the study going as global warming continues to be an issue, and possibly shrink the study area to look at the heart of tornado alley and to compare more aspects of tornadoes as we become more knowledgeable about how they form and react.