Tornado Forecasting

Gaining momentum for anticipating storms

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  18 Dec 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6267, pp. 1488-1489
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6267.1488-a

A 2011 tornado in Nebraska

PHOTO © MIKE HOLLINGSHEAD/CORBIS

Tornados cause many deaths and costly damage to property every year, so being able to predict them farther in advance could save both human lives and money. Gensini and Marinaro show that that tornadoes are more likely to occur when the base state of atmospheric angular momentum is low and less likely to occur when it is high. Differences in atmospheric angular momentum, expressed as the global wind oscillation, can explain nearly an order of magnitude of variability in boreal spring tornado occurrence in the United States during the period from 1994 to 2013. This observation thereby suggests a pathway to better springtime tornado forecasting.

Mon. Weather Rev. 10.1175/MWR-D-15-0289.1 (2015).

Navigate This Article