Connecticut has seen eight tornadoes so far in 2018 – far more than average – and the most in a single year since 1973. Several days ago, a tornado touched down in New Canaan and Norwalk. Earlier this year, tornadoes caused extensive damage in northern Fairfield County and New Haven County.
Mitch Wagener, a climate scientist at Western Connecticut State University, says it’s a given that we can expect stronger storms from climate change, but the Northeast isn’t prepared for tornadoes like it is for hurricanes.
“For hurricanes, we can see them as they’re coming. Tornadoes are trickier. They’re hard to model because they’re so small and quick phenomena that we just honestly, we don’t have enough data…They’re just so scary. A tornado is, boom, come and gone in an hour.”
Wagener says while we can expect climate change to lead to storms like tornadoes, nor’easters and microbursts, there’s also winter storms, like polar vortexes, which brought extreme freezing temperatures to the region last winter.