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NIU Meteorologist Expects Active Tornado Season

NIU Today

This year’s tornado season is expected to be wetter and more intense than usual.  

Northern Illinois University Professor of Meteorology, Victor Gensini attributes this prediction to 2021’s La Niña weather pattern, when the water temperatures off of the Pacific Ocean are quite cold.

He said strong tornado systems are beginning to concentrate in certain regions of the United States.

“If you look at the last forty years, the trends in tornado frequency are increasing in places like Illinois, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee," Gensini said, "and they’re decreasing in the traditional ‘Wizard of Oz’ Great Plains states of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.”

Gensini said severe weather tends to move away from drier areas. Other changes are also taking place.

“Spring is happening earlier and earlier almost everywhere east of the Rockies in the United States," he said, "and that brings with it earlier tornado seasons as well. That’s another fingerprint that we might see with climate change.”

Gensini believes that recent developments in meteorological equipment allow scientists to better anticipate when rotating storms will occur, and thus help prevent fatalities.