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A COMPARATIVE CLIMATOLOGY OF TORNADO OUTBREAKS AND OUTBREAK VARIABILITY IN THE UNITED STATES

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Date Issued:
2018
Abstract:
In the U.S.A., tornado outbreaks contribute to hundreds of fatalities and cause considerable physical and monetary damages annually. Historically, tornadoes, and particularly tornado outbreaks, have been poorly understood in terms of physical processes and spatiotemporal variability. One source of this uncertainty is the lack of an objective definition of "tornado outbreak." The aims of this study were to examine the spatiotemporal variability in historic U's. tornado outbreaks using different definitions of the term "tornado outbreak." The potential associations between outbreak variability and eastern tropical Pacific SST variability were also investigated. We find that over the period 1975-2014, "Tornado Outbreak Alley" is centered in northern Alabama. Additionally, outbreak activity exhibited increasing trends with time for Winter, Spring, and Fall according to four of five outbreak records. State-level linkages to winter ENSO influences, focused generally in the Southeast, may indicate the tropical Pacific as a forcing factor in U's. outbreak variability. We demonstrate both the contrasts in outbreak records that result from different definitions of outbreak, and that outbreak activity appears to be increasing, regardless of definition.
Title: A COMPARATIVE CLIMATOLOGY OF TORNADO OUTBREAKS AND OUTBREAK VARIABILITY IN THE UNITED STATES.
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Name(s): Foglietti, Rebecca Vizzi, Author
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: University of West Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract: In the U.S.A., tornado outbreaks contribute to hundreds of fatalities and cause considerable physical and monetary damages annually. Historically, tornadoes, and particularly tornado outbreaks, have been poorly understood in terms of physical processes and spatiotemporal variability. One source of this uncertainty is the lack of an objective definition of "tornado outbreak." The aims of this study were to examine the spatiotemporal variability in historic U's. tornado outbreaks using different definitions of the term "tornado outbreak." The potential associations between outbreak variability and eastern tropical Pacific SST variability were also investigated. We find that over the period 1975-2014, "Tornado Outbreak Alley" is centered in northern Alabama. Additionally, outbreak activity exhibited increasing trends with time for Winter, Spring, and Fall according to four of five outbreak records. State-level linkages to winter ENSO influences, focused generally in the Southeast, may indicate the tropical Pacific as a forcing factor in U's. outbreak variability. We demonstrate both the contrasts in outbreak records that result from different definitions of outbreak, and that outbreak activity appears to be increasing, regardless of definition.
Identifier: WFE0000608 (IID), uwf:61306 (fedora)
Note(s): 2018-06-01
M.S.
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Masters
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/uwf/fd/WFE0000608
Restrictions on Access: public
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/
Host Institution: UWF

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