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Earth Science

Last Three Years the Quietest For Tornadoes Ever 187

schwit1 writes The uncertainty of science: 2014 caps the quietest three year period for tornadoes on record, and scientists really don't understand why. "Harold Brooks, a meteorologist with the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla., said there's no consistent reason for the three-year lull — the calmest stretch since a similar quiet period in the late 1980s — because weather patterns have varied significantly from year to year. While 2012 tornado activity was likely suppressed by the warm, dry conditions in the spring, 2013 was on the cool side for much of the prime storm season before cranking up briefly in late May, especially in Oklahoma, SPC meteorologist Greg Carbin said. Then, activity quickly quieted for the summer of 2013."
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Last Three Years the Quietest For Tornadoes Ever

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's been a while since a cat 3 made landfall on a US shore, hasn't it?

    • It's been a while since a cat 3 made landfall on a US shore, hasn't it?

      As the old joke goes, "Shhh.... that's the climate census. They think they're alone here".

  • That we don't know a whole lot about weather, and meteorology has a long way to go - the complexity and variables that influence any sort of valid prediction make it hard for scientists to say "look at my track record for prediction" and appear any more accurate than a monkey pushing random buttons.

    • by itzly ( 3699663 )
      Nothing new here. Everybody in the field (and most people outside it) know the limitations of weather forecasting.
      • Nothing new here. Everybody in the field (and most people outside it) know the limitations of weather forecasting.

        And yet we're hectored continually that we need to implement costly and Draconian programs based on the predictions of models that don't match observed reality. That's not science, that's some unholy amalgam of politics, fear, profiteering, and insanity.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by itzly ( 3699663 )
          Climate is not weather. The chaotic variations in weather tend to cancel out when measured over longer time frames, and wider area. There is no doubt that the total energy contained in the Earth's oceans and atmosphere is rising, even if we can't predict year to year exactly what's going to happen.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            "Climate is not weather"

            I'm getting sick of this canard. Climate represents 'average' or perceived 'normal' weather conditions in a particular area or region over a specified period of time.

            The average temperature (or rainfall or any other descriptive statistic representing frequency or magnitude of weather parameters) is indeed a representation of temperature. De-linking weather from climate is a tactic used by people of both sides to dodge whatever the issue is.

            • by itzly ( 3699663 )

              Climate represents 'average' or perceived 'normal' weather conditions in a particular area or region over a specified period of time.

              And you're claiming there's no difference between a signal and it's average ? The difference in climate and weather is simply visualized by putting a pan of cold water on a hot stove. I can predict that in a few minutes it will be boiling (climate), even though I have no idea exactly where the bubbles are going to be (weather). The details are chaotic, the average is not.

          • Weather is an instance of climate, if weather is chaotic, then climate is chaotic; self-similarity [wikipedia.org] is a harsh mistress. You alarmists all seem to confuse Chaotic systems with erratic systems; chaotic systems often appear well ordered, while being unpredictable.

          • Climate IS weather. Climate is the integral of weather over some pre-determined time window. Want to know the climate for the last week? Last month? Last 10 years? Look at the weather over those times. Climate IS weather. The claim otherwise makes as much sense as saying bread isn't flour, water, and yeast...
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

          We don't need draconian measures, and in fact fixing this problem will improve quality of life for most of us. Efficiency (same result for less energy) is cheaper than adding more capacity, and doesn't pollute.

    • Nobody has ever predicted a rise in tornado activity.
  • by nadaou ( 535365 )

    Since "third calmest since the 1950s" and "we haven't seen conditions like this since the 1980s" doesn't make for as good of a headline. (RTFA)

  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @01:26PM (#48594379) Homepage Journal
    Low on tornadoes, high in other big storms by any other name, like Cyclone Phailin [wikipedia.org], Typhoon Haiyan [wikipedia.org] and Vongfong [wikipedia.org], Hurricane Marie [wikipedia.org] and others, in the last 2 years.
  • Polar vortices (Score:4, Interesting)

    by idji ( 984038 ) on Sunday December 14, 2014 @01:32PM (#48594421)
    There have been recent changes in the polar vortices, but meteorologists aren't prepared to make definitive statesments until they get better long term data, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org], but it wouldn't surprise me if these vortices mess around with atmospheric energy equilibria across all the seasons.
  • ...its just the data is wrong.

  • sometimes below average and sometimes above average.

  • It's Global Warming's fault!

Prof: So the American government went to IBM to come up with a data encryption standard and they came up with ... Student: EBCDIC!"

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