For those that are sure there’s global warming driving tornadoes and other severe weather events, here’s some inconvenient news. Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. has updated his tornado loss data via his Twitter account. He writes:
2017 update to our normalized US tornado losses based on our 2013 paper: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17477891.2012.738642 …
- Past 5 yrs have 2nd lowest normalized tornado damage of any 5-yr period since 1950 (1997 #1)
- 2016 had least
- 2015 2nd least
- 2017 3rd least
- 2018 near record-low tornadoes
Normalized US tornado damage to 2017 ($) values:
Average annual damage
- 1950-1983 (34 yr) = $7.6 billion (median= $5,5B)
- 1984-2017 (34 yr) = $3.9 billion (median= $2.9B)
There are legitimate debates about tornado incidence, but clearly recent years have seen depressed levels of tornado incidence, accounting for the depressed levels of observed damage.
Here is data from 2012-2017 on tornadoes from NOAA WCM (here: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/ ). There is legitimate debate about this data & inflation-adjustments, but it is safe to conclude that overall 2012-2017 tornado incidence was below long-term average. Lucky us, once again.