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WeatherTalk: Hurricanes and tornadoes are dropping in number but gaining in strength

These trends are measurable, but subtle.

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FARGO — A recent study released in the journal, Nature Climate Change, has reconfirmed earlier studies showing that our changing global climate is resulting in a decrease in the number of tropical storms and hurricanes around the world, but an increase in the overall strength of the tropical systems that do form, and a tendency for the strongest hurricanes to undergo very rapid strengthening at times.

Other recent studies have shown an overall decrease in the frequency of tornadoes with a simultaneous increase in the number of days with tornado outbreaks (more than twelve tornadoes in one storm complex). Both of these trends are measurable, but subtle. Tropical cyclone and tornado cases will be up or down in any given year, and the odds of one person finding themselves in the direct path of a tornado or hurricane remains relatively small.

Related Topics: WEATHER
John Wheeler is Chief Meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has had since May of 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South, in Louisiana and Alabama, and cites his family's move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate. Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and achieved a B.S. degree in Meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY..
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