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AGU: Geophysical Research Letters



  • tornadoes

Index Terms

  • 3314 - Convective processes
  • 4301 - Atmospheric
  • 4318 - Statistical analysis

Paper in Press


Association of U.S. tornado occurrence with monthly environmental parameters

Key Points
  • We construct a monthly tornado activity index depending on atmospheric variables
  • The index captures aspects of climatological and year-to-year variability.
  • The index provides a framework for extended-range tornado activity prediction.


Michael K. Tippett

Adam H Sobel

Suzana Junqueira Camargo

Monthly U.S. tornado numbers are here related to observation-based monthly averaged atmospheric parameters. Poisson regression is used to form an index which captures the climatological spatial distribution and seasonal variation of tornado occurrence, as well as year-to-year variability, and provides a framework for extended range forecasts of tornado activity. Computing the same index with predicted atmospheric parameters from a comprehensive forecast model gives some evidence of the predictability of monthly tornado activity.

Received 15 November 2011; accepted 13 December 2011.

Citation: Tippett, M. K., A. H. Sobel, and S. J. Camargo (2011), Association of U.S. tornado occurrence with monthly environmental parameters, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL050368, in press.