The White House has declared a state of emergency in Kentucky after a rare, late-season tornado outbreak that cut a swath of destruction 250 miles (400 kilometers) across Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee, and confirmed to have killed at least 76 people. Tornadoes associated with the same weather system, referred
It mightn’t be quite a case of the flapping of a Brazilian butterfly’s wings causing a tornado in Texas, but a team of climate researchers has found a correlation between melting Arctic sea ice and the formation of tornadoes in the United States, with fewer tornadoes being reported when northern sea ice is unseasonably low.
"A relationship between Arctic sea ice and tornadoes in the US may seem unlikely," says study co-author Jeff Trapp, an atmospheric sciences researcher with the University of Illinois at Urbana. "But it is hard to ignore the mounting evidence in support of the connection."
Storms across the southern and central US have left at least 35 people dead and devastated many communities. While flooding and severe thunderstorms continued in the southeast on Sunday, north Texas and Oklahoma began to experience dramatic temperature drops and heavy snowfall. On November 18, our Climatewatch section predicted "because of warm, moist air from the 2015 el Nino extending up into the central United States, there will be an unusual amount of thunderstorm activity in that area into the winter. Severe storms with copious snowfall could become commonplace." Climatewatch, which has been running since 2000, has rarely failed to accurately predict future weather.
The assault on the Mid-West by a total of 81 tornadoes has left 8 people dead, and more may be still buried amongst wreckage.
Indiana saw 23 tornadoes and Kentucky 13, but Illinois suffered the brunt of the storm when it was struck by an incredible 43 tornadoes, leaving at least six people dead and seven counties declared disaster zones. The massive weather system rampaged through a total of 11 states including Michigan, where another two people were killed, and Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and western New York were also affected.