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Jim Clarke
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Great article Josh. This is a battle that has been 'fought' between weather departments and newsrooms for decades. Most of the news producers I worked with with were only interested in superlatives. Hence, they would tease the weather on Thursday with: "Today was the hottest day since Tuesday." Keep up the good fight. I have the sense that Howard D. is reading too much global warming hype. The weather over the last couple of years is fairly typical for extended La Nina patterns like we have seen over the last few years. The only thing unusual about tornadoes recently is that several of the stronger ones plowed through the heart of population centers, causing terrible damage and death. This was very unfortunate, but not weird. Here is a link to the number of EF3-EF5 tornadoes in the US per year from 1950 to 2011: 2011 was a bad year, but just the 6th busiest in the last 61 years. The busier years were in the 50s, 60s, and early 70s. The graph shows that violent tornadoes have been trending down since the early 70s. The string of unusually quiet years from 2000-2007 and 2009, were actually more 'weird' than the more recent years, yet I do not recall anybody thinking that something was wrong with the weather when it was relatively quiet.
Toggle Commented Apr 17, 2012 on A Plea to the National Media at WSFA Weather
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Apr 17, 2012