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Could Long Term Tornado Forecasting Be in The Works?

Tornadoes typically strike in an instant, so forecasting them can be challenging at the very least.  But weather researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Severe Storms Laboratory and elsewhere are working on a new method, so emergency responders can prepare weeks ahead of when twisters are likely.

Most recently, researchers look at how seasonal temperatures and other trends like El Nino and La Nina weather patterns affect tornadoes.  Obviously, a better understanding of the interaction between those patterns and tornado outbreaks could allow forecasters to make long-term tornado forecasts. 

Earlier this year, a group of scientists at Columbia University released an experimental seasonal tornado forecast.  This actually might be a prototype for what an official one might look like.

But there's an understanding even with these new model(s), it's crucial for residents and emergency managers to stay alert to the possibility of severe weather due to its erratic nature. 

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