by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Aug 21, 2012
The ongoing U.S. drought may have one bright side, researchers said, as a record-low number of tornadoes have been recorded.
While drought and hot, dry weather has devastated agriculture this summer and led to the deaths of dozens of people, it has also decreased the outbreaks of tornadoes, scientists at the National Severe Storms Laboratory of the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration said.
Around 300 tornadoes have hit the U.S. since the middle of April, the fewest in that time period in nearly 60 years of record-keeping, they said.
That's about a third of the average major tornado incidents for the period.
"This is a really rare event," Harold Brooks, a research meteorologist at the storm laboratory, told The Wall Street Journal.
"The simple reason is: You aren't going to get a tornado if you don't have thunderstorms."
A high-pressure system has been parked over the middle of the United States, bringing oppressive heat but keeping severe storms with their precipitation -- conditions which can spawn tornadoes -- at bay.
July, the warmest month on record for the United States, saw the fewest tornadoes ever recorded for the month.
The simple fact, Dan Kottlowski, a senior meteorologist with Accuweather.com, told the Journal, is that rainfall brings tornadoes while drought keeps them away.
"Which side of the coin do you want?" he said.
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Mayans made drought worse with crops
New York (UPI) Aug 21, 2012
Mayans may have hastened the demise of their civilization by clearing forests, making an already naturally drying climate drier, U.S. scientists say. Prolonged drought is thought to have contributed to the eventual collapse of Mayan civilization in Mexico and Central America, and forest razing for cities and agriculture may have made matters worse, the researchers said. "We're no ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|