A convective storm front on Wednesday caused six tornado touchdowns in Alabama and Arkansas and hail and wind damage in several other states, reports EQECAT, but 2012 has seen fewer of these storm systems than last year, forecasters say.
Multiple injuries were reported from north of central Louisiana and Mississippi to central Missouri and Illinois. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center (SPC), the most injuries occurred in Mississippi, a result of downed power lines and damaged mobile homes.
Overall, says NOAA, convective storm activity in 2012 has been milder than last year by half. There have been a total of 859 tornadoes since January. Comparatively, there were already 1,700 tornadoes counted between January and October 2011. Although spring storm activity was comparable to last year, the summer this year was relatively quiet.
Convective storms are generated by warm ground and moist air, producing strong winds, heavy rain, hail and tornadoes.
NOAA says that while global warming is expected to promote convective storm development, scientists cannot yet directly link 2011’s high storm activity or 2012’s low activity to a warming climate.