An active year of tornadoes has many folks wondering if this season could be the worst ever.
It is a bit early to determine but 2008 could go down as one of the worst tornado seasons on record. Wednesday was no exception when a preliminary estimate showed that 58 tornadoes touched down across the United States with six dead and numerous persons injured. Data through the first few months suggest we are running well ahead of the long-term average for tornadoes and 2008 may indeed get close or surpass the record for any year. The questions is why so many and why this year? Many forecasters seem to think that La Nina, known as a equatorial Pacific Ocean warming that occurs every few years, may be the problem. During La Nina the winter is typically cold and snowy across the northern Plains and Midwest while the Southeast is warm and dry. Weather records seem to validate that is indeed what happened this year. The increased contrasts of temperature across the nation during La Nina probably add additional energy to weather systems making their way from west to east during the spring season. Severe weather first started in the South during early spring and has now migrated into the Midwest and Northeast. Severe weather usually begins to decline by the latter part of June and this year many folks will be quite happy when that day arrives.