The United States of America (USA) experiences the most tornadoes of any nation in the world, with these extreme weather events causing many deaths and billions of dollars of damage each year. With the recent warming of the climate due to human activity, it is likely that the occurrence of USA tornadoes will be affected. However, exactly how the spatial and temporal distribution of tornadoes in the USA will be affected by climate change is still an area of active research. The trends in the literature show that as the climate has warmed, there has been an observed clustering of USA tornadoes onto fewer, more active tornado days, as well as an eastward movement of the average centre of USA tornado activity. This review shows that these observed changes could be explained by shifts in environmental parameters related to tornado formation due to anthropogenic climate change. This research will allow for better tornado preparedness and prediction in tornado-affected areas as the climate warms. Future research may focus on more precisely modelling the impacts of global warming on USA tornado occurrence by using higher-resolution climate models.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Sam Inskip