With only scant days left in the year, 2018 is set to become the first year since formal record keeping began in 1950, in which the United States has not endured even one “violent” tornado. Violent tornadoes are classified on the Enhanced Fujita Scale as being EF4 (winds of 166-200 mph) or EF5 (winds over 200 mph).
The previous low number of violent tornadoes reported was in 2005, with only one. The strongest tornado reported in all of North America this year was an EF4, which touched down in Manitoba in August. Only 12 EF3 tornadoes (136-165 mph) have touched down in the United States this year, also a record low.
The record low for tornadoes is not quite a sure thing as of yet, as severe thunderstorm activity will threaten parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee through Tuesday of next week.
Fatalities from tornadoes in the United States are at an all-time low this year as well, with only 10 deaths reported. In an average year, tornadoes kill 69 Americans. The deadliest year for tornadoes was reportedly 1925, when the Tri-State Tornado alone killed 695 people in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.
The reasons for the lack of tornadoes this year are not completely known; however, “one key factor is high pressure tending to be more dominant than normal throughout peak season this past spring,” noted Ian Livingstone, a forecaster for Capital Weather Gang. High pressure systems generally tend to lead to blue skies and fewer clouds and storms.
“This was particularly so during April and May when tornado numbers were below to well below normal,” Livingstone added.
But with climate change, aren’t we supposed to see more violent and extreme weather?
The year 2018 is unusual for tornado activity, to be sure, but NOAA data suggests that the United States has been seeing a downward trend since formal record-keeping began in 1950. A NOAA chart appears to show that, despite what climate alarmists tell us, there is no correlation between severe weather (tornadoes, at least) and slightly warmer temperatures since 1950.
The lack of severe tornadoes over the past few decades has long been a thorn in the side of climate alarmists. Way back in 2012, James Taylor of the Spark of Freedom Foundation wrote, “Tornadoes are becoming less frequent and less severe as our planet modestly warms. Yet global warming alarmists focus attention on the few tornadoes that still do occur and say that global warming is causing these increasingly rare tornadoes.”
This year in particular, climate alarmists are blaming current weather events such as Hurricanes Florence and Michael on global warming. A new climate discipline known as “attribution science” is helping climate alarmists and the media connect current weather events to global warming — something that was “forbidden” previously since climate and weather are not the same thing.
These new “attribution scientists” were quick to blame climate change for the Atlantic hurricanes, Tropical Storm Olivia which hit Hawaii in September, the Japanese heatwave, and the California wildfires. And the mainstream media obligingly reported it.
But these “attribution scientists” and most media outlets are conspicuously absent in the study of tornadoes in connection with climate change. The fact that tornadoes are becoming less frequent rather than more frequent flies in the face of their contention that global warming will lead to more severe weather.
Thus far in 2018, climate alarmists such as carbon credit salesmen Al Gore are mum on what they think about the lack of tornadoes. Since a good part of climate alarmism plays up an increase in extreme weather due to warmer temperatures, their silence on the absence of tornadoes speaks volumes.