NOAA has been very slow in releasing the final tornado data for 2016, but it is finally out now.
As the provisional indicated at the time, last year was another very quiet year for tornadoes and continued the pattern of a lower level compared to the 1970s.
Perhaps even more marked is the decline in the number of really strong tornadoes.
There were no EF-5 events (the strongest category) at all last year, the third year in succession for that. There were also only two EF-4s, which normally average eight a year.
You would guess none of this from NOAA’s State of the Climate Report, which fraudulently includes the weakest EF-0 tornadoes.
Even though their own website clearly states:
Improved tornado observation practices have led to an increase in the number of reported weaker tornadoes, and in recent years EF-0 tornadoes have become more prevalent in the total number of reported tornadoes. In addition, even today many smaller tornadoes still may go undocumented in places with low populations or inconsistent communication facilities.
With increased National Doppler radar coverage, increasing population, and greater attention to tornado reporting, there has been an increase in the number of tornado reports over the past several decades. This can create a misleading appearance of an increasing trend in tornado frequency. To better understand the variability and trend in tornado frequency in the United States, the total number of EF-1 and stronger, as well as strong to violent tornadoes (EF-3 to EF-5 category on the Enhanced Fujita scale) can be analyzed. These tornadoes would have likely been reported even during the decades before Doppler radar use became widespread and practices resulted in increasing tornado reports.
So far this year, provisional tornado numbers have been higher than recent averages, but not significantly so. Again there have been no EF-5 events yet.
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