The Most Violent Tornadoes Are LESS Common In Earth's Warmer Climate

The usual suspects have tried to tie the recent onslaught of tornadoes to global warming. It is bad science for the reasons explained below.

The Weather Science
Let's begin with some basic meteorology: strong (F-2 and -3) and violent (F-4 and -5) tornadoes are caused by the contrast in temperatures between the poles and the tropics. Bad tornadoes need an active jet stream to ventilate the top of severe thunderstorms. You can see the correlation pertaining to Saturday's tornadoes below. The strong jet stream is in the same general area as the tornadoes that killed 22 people.
Tornadoes from 1pm Saturday to 7am Sunday

Jet stream winds (250mb chart) up to 150 mph (scale is in knots) in the general 
vicinity of Saturday's tornadoes

The global warming hypothesis -- which has proven to be correct -- is that the poles would warm much more quickly than the tropics. That means there is, on average, less temperature contrast between air masses and a less powerful jet stream. Thus, fewer violent tornadoes, especially F-5's. In fact, the last F-5 tornado was May 20, 2013 -- our current streak of 11+ years without an F-5 is, by far, the longest streak without an F-5 in recorded history.

The NOAA Data
Below, in graph form, is NOAA's official data regarding the yearly numbers of F-4 and F-5 tornadoes. The trend is unquestionably down.

Peer-Reviewed Paper Demonstrates Lessening Trend in Violent Tornadoes
This peer-reviewed paper clearly demonstrates that the trend in violent tornadoes is down. A link to the paper is here

Lessing Trend in Damage From All Tornadoes
The information from this peer-reviewed paper shows normalized data (inflation, population, etc.) clearly demonstrates the trend in damage from all tornadoes, regardless of intensity, is down. As we know the vast majority of damage is caused by the most powerful tornadoes, this confirms the trend in violent tornadoes is down. You can learn more about the lessening trend in tornado damage, here

The evidence is overwhelming -- global warming is not making violent tornadoes worse. 


  1. Believe the last EF5 was in 2013, not 2023

  2. Assuming the downward trend has occurred, why has it occurred?

    1. I'm not aware of anyone who keeps track of downburst statistics, so I can't answer the question.

    2. Odd, as didn't ask about downburst statistics, instead asked about why the offered downward trend in violent tornadoes

  3. As I explained the downward trend in tornadoes in the two "Weather Science" paragraphs, I assumed you made a typo.


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