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Patch Poll: Is Violent Weather Linked to Global Warming?

We are enjoying great warm weather, but tornado season has started.

What a wonderful weekend it was, weather-wise. Temperatures were in the 80s, and it is not yet spring. What kind of weather is in store? Apparently warm weather and tornadoes. 

AccuWeather.com reports an active severe weather season is anticipated in the U.S. for spring with the most widespread warmth since 2004.

"As far as the forecast for the spring of 2012, we do feel like it's going to be a mild spring for most of the nation from the eastern Rockies into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes area," Paul Pastelok, expert long-range meteorologist and leader of the AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team, said. "At least two-thirds of the nation could wind up with above-normal temperatures."

An above-normal number of tornadoes are forecast for this season with water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico running above normal for this time of year. The active severe weather season follows a deadly year with a near-record number of tornadoes in 2011.

Typically, 1,300 tornadoes strike the U.S. a year. There were nearly 1,700 tornadoes in 2011, falling short of the record 1,817 tornadoes set in 2004. Illinois already suffered a devastating tornado March 1 in Harrisburg.

"Areas that seemed to miss out on frequent severe weather last year may see an uptick this year," AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said.

January was an unusually violent month for tornadoes in the country: 70 twisters have been reported. And more could be on the way.

This January is the third-highest in January since accurate tornado records began in 1950, Greg Carbin, warning coordination meteorologist with the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK, told USAToday. Since 1950, only January 1999 (with 212) and January 2008 (with 84) saw more tornadoes.

The pattern that led to the stormy January is forecast to continue, which could cause another savage storm season this spring. The climate pattern, called La Niña, tends to produce large tornado outbreaks from January to April across the USA. La Niña refers to cooler-than-average tropical Pacific Ocean water that affects weather and climate around the world. La Niña is forecast to continue into the spring, according to the Climate Prediction Center.

"The spring [temperatures] will start out well above normal through the Great Lakes but may head into a back-and-forth pattern for April and early May, more of a typical spring," Pastelok said. "Snow chances will be limited through March with a small chance for a couple of events in April."

Overall, despite some cool periods and chances of snow, most of the Great Lakes will end up with above-normal temperatures this spring. Chicago and Milwaukee will have above-normal temperatures and near-normal precipitation.

Billy Gallagher March 20, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Ben, it's OK, your elitist 'metropolitan area' views are safe. I live in flyover country in rural Wisconsin. I've seen the reports that pig and cow flatulence are a threat to our climate. I think I am all for banning those gases and we should start right here and now.
Paul March 20, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Are you unaware of teh Google? Or do you just like to get spoon fed? The militarys plans are common enough - I dont need to point them out... you can find them with simple searches. Chicago is also a simple search.. http://www.popsci.com/environment/article/2011-05/preparing-climate-change-chicago-adapting-itself-warmer-weather
Billy Gallagher March 20, 2012 at 03:08 PM
OK Paul, now we know enough about you to simply stop the back and forth. You get your news and facts from Popular Science. We all remember seeing those whacy headlines at the news stands. But for those out there who may have forgotten, here are a sampling of not only headlines from Paul's favorite news source, but these are also ALL from the author of the article that Paul cites as cementing his belief that man, especially the USA, is to blame for todays and tomorrow's problems that may impact the world. Check these out: -A Smartphone That Detects Whether Its User Is Depressed -UK Report Suggests Soldiers Could One Day Plug Their Weapons Right Into Their Brains -Paint Your Roof With Working Solar Cells Made from Grass Clippings -A Massive Solar Eruption, the Strongest in 7 Years, Has Earth Bracing for a Radiation Storm ((-Ed note: This was last week, and all is still well here on Earth)) -Russian Space Authorities Determine Cause of Failed Mars Probe: America (of course!!!) -Video: Groombot Brushes Cat, Ushering in a New Era of Remote Robo-Petting -A Train to Space: All Aboard the 20,000-Mile-Per-Hour Low-Earth-Orbit Express And, Finally, a headline that makes sense: Canada Pulls Out of Kyoto Protocol, Making it the First Country to Legally Opt Out
Jim Pokin March 20, 2012 at 04:21 PM
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/indicators/
Paul March 20, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Sorry, I got the first link that I saw. You'll note the main story was from the New York Times. I dont understand how my point... that Chicago has a long term plan to deal with climate change... is missed. I guess when you dont have any original thoughts, you have to attack the source. See, on Google. if you want to look things up, you get a list of results. Many of them will link back to a similar source. You seem a bit unfamiliar with it, so I thought I'd let you know.

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