Instant Weather

In October, 1780 over 22,000 people died in a hurricane that ravaged many of the islands in the Caribbean. The reports of that disaster took weeks to reach Europe and the United States.  The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March was nearly instantly reported via text message alerts and via Twitter and other internet resources long before it was picked up by the traditional media outlets.

I mention this because the perception by many is that this past decade brought more tornadoes, hurricanes and floods than what has occurred in the past.   As it often the case, the perception does not much the data.  In fact, the number of violent tornados (EF3 and higher) in the past 10 years have been at historic lows, the number of hurricanes around the globe in the past few years have been at their lowest in 30 years and studies have shown that flooding has not been increasing.

Our instant access to weather information may make it seem like storms are happening more frequently, but it is not the weather changing, but our technology.

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