Tornadoes in December are unusual, but not unheard of. Yet the distance of the destructive path for a single twister during this weekend’s deadly weather broke a century-old record.
Are tornados linked to climate change, similar to how devastating heat, wildfires, droughts and floods have intensified with a warming Earth?
Should we get used to more late-year tornado surprises when winter behaves like spring?
Warm weather on Friday was a crucial factor as tornadoes chewed up parts of at least five states, but whether the long-run impacts of climate change is a factor is not quite as clear, and research is still evolving. That’s in part because the U.S. is unique to the rest of the world in the number of tornadoes it records, meteorologists say.
About 1,200 twisters hit the U.S. each year, according to the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory.
“This event was not just unusual —…