U.S. Had 500 Tornadoes in 30 Days
If you’ve been thinking that there have been a lot of tornadoes lately, you’re correct.
The U.S. Storm Prediction Center reported that the United States experienced 500 tornadoes in the past 30 days, as a trapped jet stream in the atmosphere became "stuck in neutral." In the past seven decades, only 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2011 have faced that many tornado reports in a 30-day period, said Bill Bunting, chief of forecast operations at the center. While he did not say it was unprecedented, he did say, “It certainly has been unusual.”
The tornadoes have been driven by larger weather patterns that also have led to widespread rains and flooding across the Great Plains and Midwest. A low-pressure area is stuck over the Pacific Northwest, while high pressure sits on top of the southern states, allowing a stream of powerful winds to slice through the center, drawing energy from the Gulf of Mexico.
Social media has given the public the means to both record and report tornadoes like never before, and that may be one of the reasons that the most abundant years have all been within the past two decades, Bunting said.