Last year, the U.S. was subject to an unnaturally active tornado season. The season spawned outbreaks of violent windstorms and powerful tornados that cut a path of destruction through much of the mid and mid-eastern states. Last year saw a total of 1,709 tornadoes touched down in the U.S. While this is well short of the 1,817 that formed in 2004, these tornados were far more destructive and widespread. Indeed, 2011 was one of the most disastrous years in recent history, so much such that the insurance industry was hoping for a much calmer 2012. Their hopes, however, may be for nothing.
AccuWeather.com, a leading weather forecasting service, believes that this year’s tornado season will be as active as the last. Last year’s storms were so numerous and powerful because of strong influence from the La Nina weather phenomenon. The event is well known for changing the temperature of the ocean, which has a dramatic impact on the atmosphere as well as hurricanes. AccuWeather notes that La Nina is subsiding and giving way to El Nino, another climatic event that affect the temperature of the ocean.
Forecasters believe that El Nino will work to normalize ocean temperatures by April. If the event persists, however, it will likely spur natural disasters in areas of the U.S. that saw few, if any, last year. Insurers are concerned with this, of course, and have continued to encourage homeowners to purchase insurance plans appropriate to their needs.
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