While no one will ever be able to pencil in a tornado on their calendar, Michael Tippett and his colleagues have developed a tool for predicting general tornado activity a month in advance.
Tippett is a climate scientist at Columbia University's International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). He and his team reviewed 30 years of data, looking for patterns between short-term climate trends and the occurrence of tornados. Their work revealed two parameters of rain and wind that correlated with monthly tornado activity.
KIMBRA CUTLIP is a freelance writer and former assistant editor for Weatherwise.