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New study shows Pacific Decadal Oscillation and sea surface temperature drive US tornado strength
Watts up with That? ^ | October 17, 2013 | Anthony Watts

Posted on 10/17/2013 6:33:59 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

pdo warm and cold phasesFrom the University of Missouri-Columbia, one more example of how natural variation has trumped the supposed forcing of CO2 to make ‘bad weather’.

Pacific ocean temperature influences tornado activity in US, MU study finds

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Meteorologists often use information about warm and cold fronts to determine whether a tornado will occur in a particular area. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found that the temperature of the Pacific Ocean could help scientists predict the type and location of tornado activity in the U.S.

Laurel McCoy, an atmospheric science graduate student at the MU School of Natural Resources, and Tony Lupo, professor and chair of atmospheric science in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, surveyed 56,457 tornado-like events from 1950 to 2011. They found that when surface sea temperatures were warmer than average, the U.S. experienced 20.3 percent more tornadoes that were rated EF-2 to EF-5 on the Enhanced Fuijta (EF) scale. (The EF scale rates the strength of tornadoes based on the damage they cause. The scale has six category rankings from zero to five.)

McCoy and Lupo found that the tornadoes that occurred when surface sea temperatures were above average were usually located to the west and north of tornado alley, an area in the Midwestern part of the U.S. that experiences more tornadoes than any other area. McCoy also found that when sea surface temperatures were cooler, more tornadoes tracked from southern states, like Alabama, into Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana.

“Differences in sea temperatures influence the route of the jet stream as it passes over the Pacific and, eventually, to the United States,” McCoy said. “Tornado-producing storms usually are triggered by, and will follow, the jet stream. This helps explain why we found a rise in the number of tornadoes and a change in their location when sea temperatures fluctuated.”

In the study, McCoy and Lupo examined the relationship between tornadoes and a climate phenomenon called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). PDO phases, which were discovered in the mid-1990s, are long-term temperature trends that can last up to 30 years. According to NASA scientists, the current PDO phase has just entered into a “cool” state.

“PDO cool phases are characterized by a cool wedge of lower than normal sea-surface ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific and a warm horseshoe pattern of higher than normal sea-surface temperatures extending into the north, west and southern Pacific,” McCoy said. “In the warm phase, which lasted from 1977 to 1999, the west Pacific Ocean became cool and the wedge in the east was warm.”

In 2011, more than 550 deaths occurred as a result of tornadoes, resulting in more than $28 billion in property damage, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. McCoy says that with her findings, officials may be able to save lives in the future.

“Now that we know the effects of PDO cool and warm phases, weather forecasters have another tool to predict dangerous storms and inform the public of impending weather conditions,”

McCoy said.

The research will be presented at the National Weather Association Conference this fall.

See video:

http://media.eurekalert.org/multimedia_prod/pub/media/63364_web.mp4


TOPICS: Conspiracy; Science; Weather
KEYWORDS: climatechange

1 posted on 10/17/2013 6:34:00 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Reid Timmer said this about 3 years ago on Leno so it’s not new?


2 posted on 10/17/2013 6:36:27 PM PDT by america-rules
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

BS. Just say’n............


3 posted on 10/17/2013 6:37:10 PM PDT by slouper (LWRC M6A2)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Well slap me in the face with a pork chop. Here all this time I thought we could blame it on global warming.


4 posted on 10/17/2013 6:37:33 PM PDT by From The Deer Stand
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
BS, it's all co2 generation and we're all gonna die if we don't convert to Communism.

Just sayin'

5 posted on 10/17/2013 6:38:31 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: america-rules
Reid Timmer said this about 3 years ago on Leno so it’s not new?

I dont recall the term Pacic Decal Oscillation, but we discussed this subject in an Oceanography course in college 35 years ago.

6 posted on 10/17/2013 6:42:49 PM PDT by suijuris
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Pacic Decal Oscillation: that means global warming. In fact, everything means global warming. It’s a consensus, and everyone agrees that it’s a consensus, and the ones who don’t agree don’t count.


7 posted on 10/17/2013 6:48:08 PM PDT by Telepathic Intruder (The only thing the Left has learned from the failures of socialism is not to call it that)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I just ran out and threw an ice cube into the creek to cool down the Pacific. Wait. That might run to the Atlantic. Somebody warn England!


8 posted on 10/17/2013 6:55:15 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: america-rules

Joe Bastardi has been saying this for a decade or more.


9 posted on 10/17/2013 6:57:59 PM PDT by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I thought the government controlled the weather. It’s the administration’s fault. VALERIE!!!!!!


10 posted on 10/17/2013 7:32:42 PM PDT by huldah1776
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To: TigersEye

Been following Joe for years!!! He seems like the only one that knows of what he speaks!!!


11 posted on 10/17/2013 7:57:56 PM PDT by Forrestfire (Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. Calvin Coolidge)
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