58 Tornadoes in the Southeastern United States: A Climatological Perspective

Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Broadway Rooms (Hilton Portland )
Daniel R. Chavas, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN; and E. Agee

Tornadoes are one of the leading causes of economic damage and loss of life in the United States today. This is particularly true in the Southeast, where tornado risk is enhanced due to their increased probability of occurrence outside of the traditional Spring severe weather season and at night, their lower short-term predictability, and the prevalence of high-vulnerability populations. Tornadoes in this region are known to often form in environments of high vertical wind shear but modest convective available potential energy. However, variability in the space-time distribution of tornadoes and the environments favorable for such activity has yet to be explored in depth, particularly from a climate perspective. Here we explore these relationships to evaluate how the Southeast tornado climatology fits into the broader diurnal and seasonal cycles of tornado activity and tornado-favorable environments over Eastern North America. This work will help develop a foundation for understanding the broader relationship between tornado activity and climate.
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