Climate change could increase thunderstorm severity

Mar 20, 2014 by Lindsey Elliott
Credit: OneEighteen via photopincc

This spring may be more like a lion than a lamb.

John Harrington Jr. is a synoptic climatologist and professor of geography at Kansas State University who studies , how often they occur and the conditions when they occurred. He says may be increasing the severity of storms.

"One of the big concerns I have is that the warmer atmospheric temperatures will drive a little bit more evaporation out of the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico," Harrington said. "One of the things that helps storms be stronger is having more moisture, so that added moisture may increase the height and severity of a tall cumulonimbus thunderstorm cloud."

Harrington said the added moisture might make storms stronger and more potent in the future.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

This year may also bring a change in weather conditions due to El Niño, which the United States hasn't experienced for about two years. El Niño warms the temperature of the Pacific Ocean, which creates cooler and for the West Coast. Harrington says there is a good possibility El Niño will arrive this fall going into winter.

Explore further: Researchers suggest controversial approach to forecasting El Nino

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

NASA sees Depression 12-E become Tropical Storm Lowell

16 hours ago

In less than 24 hours after Tropical Depression 12-E was born in the eastern Pacific Ocean it strengthened into Tropical Storm Lowell. NOAA's GOES-West and NASA's Aqua satellite captured infrared images of ...

Why global warming is taking a break

18 hours ago

The average temperature on Earth has barely risen over the past 16 years. ETH researchers have now found out why. And they believe that global warming is likely to continue again soon.

User comments : 0