The calendar said December but warm wet air was screaming for spring.

And tornadoes are beginning to occur in the wake of that deadly night of extreme weather that meteorologists and climatologists regard as historic and questions as to how climate change will intensify.

Victor Gensini, a Northern Illinois University professor and a leading tornado expert, said last night’s outbreak was one of the most spectacular tornado events in US history, and although climate change may have played some part in its violent behavior, it is not yet apparent what role it played.

Governor Andy Beshear told a news conference that tornado events have brought “level of devastation like I have never seen before,”

But, in contrast to other extreme weather events, such as droughts, flooding, and hurricanes, the body of scientific research linking the climate crisis and tornadoes was not as robust, making this link particularly challenging.

Scientists say the temporary scale of tornadoes, combined with a highly inconsistent and unreliable historic record, makes linking eruptions with long-term, man-made climate change extremely tricky.

Jennifer Marlon, a climate scientist with the Yale school of environment, told CNN it was too soon to say what started last night’s eruption, but that there were ‘some really important signatures that suggest that this very well may be linked to climate change,’ to climate change, noting that scientists are ‘observing changes in the outbreaks, not just the severity of individual outbreaks and tornadoes, but also quiet periods.’

As soon as Friday’s storm formed, extraordinarily strong wind appears to have stopped the tornadoes from splitting, experts say.

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University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma is a public research university in Norman, Oklahoma. Founded in 1890, (wikipedia)

Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University is a public research university in DeKalb, Illinois. It was founded as Northern Illinois State Normal School on May 22, 1895, by Illinois Governor John P. (wikipedia)


Oklahoma ) is a state in the South Central and Southern Plains region of the United States, bordered by the state of Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, (wikipedia)

John Gordon (convict)

John Gordon was the last person executed by Rhode Island. His conviction and execution have been ascribed by researchers to anti-Roman Catholic and anti-Irish immigrant bias. As a result, (wikipedia)

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City ), officially the City of Oklahoma City, and often shortened to OKC, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The county seat of Oklahoma County, (wikipedia)

Mayfield, Kentucky

Mayfield is a home rule-class city in Graves County, Kentucky, United States. It is the county seat. The population was 10,017 as of the 2020 United States Census. (wikipedia)