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Presidential Quote Of The Day

February 6, 2008

In case anyone is wondering, the rash of tornadoes that hit the South on Super Tuesday was NOT typical for this time of year.  Multistate tornado clusters aren’t very common in the first place but early February isn’t the peak season.  Seems like there’s been a lot of atypical weather lately.

And while there is nothing funny about people who lost their lives and property in a storm, for some reason our President’s reassurances jolted my funny bone:

“Prayers can help and so can the government.”

I guess Ronald Reagan is officially dead.

  1. February 7, 2008 at 17:51 | #1

    Tornadoes used to come in April and May, not January and February. There is certainly nothing normal going on here, and it’s a little scary.

  2. EdK
    February 7, 2008 at 22:35 | #2

    I can relate to the scary part, having gone through the early morning hours of Wednesday hunkered down in a closet with my wife and dogs. Then listening to the radio tell us radar indicates a tornado between us and the next town south of us.  A pretty tense half hour or so.

    It seems to be an early spring here in Alabama.  But again, without charting the trend over the last few decades one can’t say positively this is a climate trend.  It may be a weather anomaly triggered by a La Nina pattern.  Global temps and ice cover is a more reliable source of data.

    Even with all the prayers, people died and houses flied.  The real heroes are not the feds who step in after the fact, it’s the local sheriffs, deputies, troopers, EMTs, power line workers, etc. etc. etc. who chose to step out into the darkness and do their jobs well.

  3. February 7, 2008 at 23:42 | #3

    Damn skippy on that part about the real heroes Edk!

  4. Lucas
    February 8, 2008 at 11:43 | #4

    “Tornadoes used to come in April and May, not January and February.”

    Really?  I think there may be a trend towards more tornadoes, but the data is so variable that it’s hard to tell.

  5. February 8, 2008 at 11:59 | #5

    It’s tempting to say ‘Look!  Freak weather’ and assign that to climate change, but there have always been freak storms.  Just compare 1999 to 2003. 

    Good article by Chris Mooney: Tornadoes and Global Warming

    Still, short memories make for moving baselines.  In the big picture, the aggregation, things are changing.

  6. February 8, 2008 at 13:37 | #6

    Lucas:
    In Illinois, from 1950 till 1998 I count 24 Tornadoes in Jan and 18 for Feb. Whereas the fair majority of the rest are in Mar, Apr, and May. And if we narrow things down to McLean county, which is really the only area I can speak for since I lived most of my life there, from 1957 to 1995 there was 1 tornado in Jan/Feb.

    From 1998 – 2007 there were 12 tornadoes in Jan/Feb out of 706 tornadoes in state between those years. So 1.7% where in the months I mentioned… I guess I’m missing something here.

    Even looking at the link you provided the numbers in that month are pretty low. So one can easily say it is not normal to have tornadoes in the months of January and February and be correct no? Even Wikipedia and other sources will tell you tornadoes are not common in January and February.

    DOF: I’m not sure if you were speaking generally or to me, but I didn’t mention anything about Global Warming.

    Interesting article by Mooney, thanks.

  7. February 8, 2008 at 14:33 | #7

    DOF: I’m not sure if you were speaking generally or to me, but I didn’t mention anything about Global Warming.

    Nope, I was just using that as a stepping-off point for more discussion.

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