Courtesy Center for Severe Weather ResearchWith the forces of nature kicking up violently all over the globe in recent days –– an earthquake in China, typhoon in Myanmar and volcano eruption in Chile – getting somewhat overlooked is the rash of tornadoes already this season in the United States.
A total of 98 people have died from damage caused by tornadoes in the U.S. already this year, making it the deadliest tornado season since 1998, with a lot more months of twister action to come. This year already ranks as the seventh most deadly tornado season since records began being kept in 1950.
What’s giving with all of this? As our TV meteorologists always like to remind us, it’s due to the jet stream.
That movement of air at high altitudes has been ideal for tornadoes this year, mixing warm, wet air from the Gulf of Mexico with colder-than-normal air from the Great Lakes region. Here's a cool interactive graphic that shows how tornadoes brew up.
Traditionally, May is the peak month for tornadoes in the southern U.S. while July is the prime time for twisters in the north.