Tornadoes and Climate Change

Tornadoes (see definition), which are also known as twisters and cyclones, are the twisting air columns that run in between the land and the clouds.

A tornado is a natural calamity. It is a ferociously rotating funnel of speedy air from the base of the Earth to the cumulonimbus clouds up above.

Unfortunately, there is a possible link between tornadoes and climate change. However, there is still a lot more research to be done to confirm the trend.

According to Dr. Diffenbaugh, a professor of earth system science from Stanford University, “We do have strong evidence that at the large scale that global warming is likely to increase the atmospheric environments that create the kind of severe thunderstorm that produces tornadoes” (Source).

However, we still have much more to learn about how climate change may affect tornadoes. According to the fourth National Climate Assessment, “Some types of extreme weather (e.g. Rainfall and extreme heat) can be directly attributed [to] global warming. Other types of extreme weather, such as Tornadoes, are also exhibiting changes which may be linked to climate change, but scientific understanding isn’t detailed enough to project direction and magnitude of future change" (Source).

Climate change will bring forth more extreme weather

Destructive Force

This ferocious air from tornadoes will pretty much destroy everything it gets in contact with when it lands on the ground, buildings, houses, cars, or trees.

Weak and short-lived ones may happen if there is a powerful updraft in a thunderstorm. However, the strongest and most destructive twisters were located in some parts of the globe that require very explicit conditions.

However, climate change may increase the intensity and frequency of all storms and, in general, is increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events.

Tornadoes have a very powerful destructive force

How is Climate Change Playing a Role?

The increasing world temperatures are but one of the main effects of climate change.

In recent years, there were studies and research conducted in order to test whether or not climate change can affect the frequency and intensity of the tornadoes.

According to scientists, the changes in temperature and precipitation, caused by climate change, may lead to a rise in the frequency, intensity, and duration of twisters along with other natural disasters.

Although scientists can predict that climate change will cause more droughts, it is much harder for climatologists to predict if tornadoes will be worsened by climate change (Source).

Climate change will increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of tornadoes
Occluded mesocyclone tornado
Tornado with dust and debris cloud forming at the surface
Category F5 tornado approaching Elie, Manitoba in 2007
Union City Tornado in 1973

The Economic Impact

People will experience severe financial problems if a twister destroys their property and their livelihood.

Each year, tornadoes are responsible for billions of dollars in damages.

The damages to residential properties, as well as the environmental damage, are just some of the ways in which economic loss occurs.

Essentially, communities, families and businesses lose cash when individuals cannot work and earn income when they attend the medical as well as the environmental requisites inside the affected area.

Tornadoes are responsible for billions of dollars in damages each year

The Damages

The damage acquired from the tornado extends further than what can be seen.

Most of the secondary threats such as live electric wires, gas leaks, and the spill of harmful and toxic materials as well as structural failure could trigger further damage to the properties as well as the environment.

This may also even lead to death even if people were able to survive from the initial impact.

Tornadoes could destroy entire neighbourhoods

How to Prepare For it

The frequency of it attacking a particular area may be due to climate change, and this disaster takes place swiftly without any warnings.

What are the essential things to do to prepare for this?

If your house is situated in those areas where this disaster is frequent, the best possible primary way to keep an eye on it is to tune into weather forecasts on television, radio or even the internet.

You have to be vigilant and cautious if you want to be well-prepared when it comes.

Climate change will cause tornadoes to become more powerful

You will hear a deafening noise coming from the tornado, almost similar to the sound of a freight train.

You may also notice that the sky is turning greenish into greenish-black. It is a must for you to keep a safety kit at home, which includes a portable communication radio, a cellular phone with charged batteries, an extra battery, a flashlight and whistle.

Food, water and clothing are the basic necessities that you may also need in case of an attack.

From National Geographic

The Road Ahead

With what is happening nowadays due to climate change, it crucial to be prepared when catastrophe strikes. You have to make sure everything is ready for a tornado.

In order to help reduce the damages caused annually by tornadoes, it may be the case that we must do what we can to help stop climate change or else face the consequences.

However, it is important to point out once again that scientists are not entirely sure that climate change is, in fact, increasing the number of tornadoes overall (Source).

In any event, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions will have many benefits and will reduce the intensity of the many effects of climate change.

From National Geographic

Further Reading (Sources)


  1. Climate Change
  2.  ›
  3. Effects
  4.  ›
  5. Tornadoes

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