US Tornadoes: All-time March Record Broken After Latest Outbreak

    Image copyright: Washington Co FL Sheriff's Office [via New York Times]

    The Facts

    • Last week, a large storm system that brought strong winds and tornadoes left a path of destruction across the southern US.

    • The US National Weather Service logged more than 37 tornado reports from a Mar 30-31 outbreak, which caused widespread damage and power outages. One tornado touchdown in the FL panhandle caused 2 fatalities.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    There could be a climate connection to these outbreaks. Some scientists believe that changing atmospheric conditions are fueling tornado eruptions across the South.

    Narrative B

    It's easy to dismiss any extreme weather event as a consequence of climate change, but in reality they're usually influenced by a myriad of factors that have nothing to do with it. More research is needed before we can establish any direct causal link between the two.

    Narrative C

    This is a "human-built environment" problem. Vulnerable southern communities typically live in more weak-framed houses compared to the central US. It's vital for impoverished residents to have sturdy, resilient housing.

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