This article discusses how climate change is affecting weather patterns.
A tornado, albeit a weak one, touched down in New York City last Thursday, in the College Point neighborhood of Queens. A few days earlier, a stronger tornado was spotted near the town of Douglas, in central Massachusetts. And a few days later a whirlwind ripped through nearby Webster, displacing dozens of people from their damaged homes.
The storms were far from the region in the middle of the country known as Tornado Alley, where the bulk of the nation’s tornadoes occur. In a summer already marked by simmering heat that researchers have linked to global warming, is climate change also making tornadoes more common in places where they once were infrequent?
Though individual weather events are distinct from the more broadly changing climate, global warming does influence weather patterns. Still, any link between climate change and the frequency of tornadoes is far from straightforward, according to researchers.