(PINEPOINT WEATHER) — New numbers from the Storm Prediction Center in Charlotte mark a record-breaking start to the season.
An outbreak on March 31 dropped 122 tornadoes, making it the 4th most active single day since 1950. 410 tornadoes from January through March make it the most active start to the season since 1950!
A Climate Central study finds there are 6 times more billion-dollar severe storms from 2001-2022 than in the two previous decades. Tornado days are increasing across the Deep South, as core ingredients for strong thunderstorms shift east.
“Traditional” tornado alley sits squarely in the Central Plains. But as more extreme drought hits some Plains states, the core ingredient of moisture is moving east. Storms can also tap into warmer Gulf waters for fuel.
This extreme drying in some Plains states is starving them of the moisture fuel they need for thunderstorms. In purple, this Climate Central analysis shows the fuel increases east, where the trend for tornado days is also increasing.
Fuels are shifting east into a vulnerable area. The Deep South has many mobile homes that are not good shelters from tornadoes. Tornado deaths are 10X more likely in mobile homes than in permanent ones.
To read Climate Central’s analysis on tornado trends: https://www.climatecentral.org/climate-matters/severe-storm-supercell-and-tornado-trends-2023