Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Killer Tornadoes in Deep South Were 'Particularly Strong' for December

Climate

Communities in the Deep South are still recovering after a series of devastating tornadoes tore through the region earlier this week. They were the first killer tornadoes since May of this year.



Though tornado activity in the U.S. this time of year is not abnormal, the extent of damage is. According to The Storm Prediction Center, there were more fatalities this week than from the last three Decembers combined.

The Associated Press reported that at least four people have died as a result of the storms, including a husband and wife whose 7-year-old son was fighting for his life but has started to recover, according to WVTM. At least two dozen suspected tornadoes were reported across the South, destroying or damaging 150 homes in their midst. Additionally, the National Weather Service issued 85 tornado warnings and logged at least 140 reports of severe weather, The Washington Post reported.

Injuries have been reported in several states with the majority of damage being recorded in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas, according to Reuters.

"Initial reports suggest [the] first tornado was reported in Louisiana around 10:35 (a.m.) CST and first tornado fatality was somewhere around 11:18 a.m. CST," National Weather Service meteorologist Jared Guyer told the publication.

AccuWeather reported that it started with a "violent outbreak of severe weather" that "ignited across the region" characterized by winds reaching up to 160 mph that brought with them an EF3 tornado.

"The tornado activity across the Lower Mississippi Valley on Monday was not out of the ordinary for December, but the storms were particularly strong and long-lived for this time of year," said Rich Putnam, AccuWeather senior storm warning meteorologist.

"Typically, that region experiences a minimum in tornadoes during the summer months, and sees the majority of their late summer and early fall tornadoes occur during tropical events. However, as we get into the late fall, the jet stream begins to swing far enough south to supply the upper atmospheric ingredients necessary for organized severe weather."

One tornado traveled more than 60 miles across central Louisiana, leaving behind it a scar visible from space, reported the NWS Weather Forecast Office.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Zak Smith

It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Hector Chapa

With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.

But can these masks be effective?

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Jörg Carstensen / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Carey Gillam

Bayer AG is reneging on negotiated settlements with several U.S. law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who claim exposure to Monsanto's Roundup herbicides caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sources involved in the litigation said on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Tom Werner / DigitalVision / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

With many schools now closed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, you may be looking for activities to keep your children active, engaged, and entertained.

Although numerous activities can keep kids busy, cooking is one of the best choices, as it's both fun and educational.

Read More Show Less
In Germany's Hunsrück village of Schorbach, numerous photovoltaic systems are installed on house roofs, on Sept. 19, 2019. Thomas Frey / Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.

Read More Show Less