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A new report shows that climate change may result in enhanced tornado generation. According to a study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "elevated greenhouse forcing" will lead to "increases in the occurrence of severe thunderstorm environments over the eastern United States," which can create optimal conditions for tornadoes.
For the study, a research team from Stanford University and Purdue University used different models to determine how rising temperatures would affect storms. Noah Diffenbaugh, one of the authors of the report, explained that the group looked at many projections to reach their conclusion.
"We can look starting in the recent past and analyze how many severe thunderstorm environments there are in each model, in each year, all the way out to the end of 21st century," Diffenbaugh said, The New York Times reported.
The news source explains that all of the models show that there will likely be an "increase in severe-weather days in the spring and autumn after about 2040." However, some projections show that there are states, including Kansas and Nebraska, which may see decreases in storm activity during the summer months.
The reason that an increase in thunderstorms is dangerous is because the storm systems can lead to tornadoes. The Mother Nature Network points out that tornadoes occur when two air masses meet and begin rotating. Next, the thunderstorm causes the new system to stand vertically as it swirls.
This could be devastating for some areas, even those that have made necessary preparations for tornadoes. If the number of severe thunderstorms increases, many homes and businesses may be damaged and then hit again before they can be adequately prepared.
Additionally, as storm activity starts to spread through the rest of the US, tornadoes might starting popping in areas that aren't readily prepared. In fact, there have been instances of these meteorological events occurring in unusual places. For instance, a tornado recently touched down in the Pacific Northwest, just south of Seattle, according to the Associated Press.
Cities and towns can start preparing for increased tornadoes sooner rather than later by implementing emergency notification systems, like Omnilert. The tool uses automated calling systems and text message alerts to ensure that everyone is aware of what's going on. This will help keep people safe during tornadoes and other severe storms as activity increases over time.