Why Are Extreme Weather Events Becoming Less Common?

The Earth’s climate is poorly understood, and random variation likely accounts for most of the ups and downs of notable weather events. But for some reason, extreme weather events are becoming less common. The United States has now gone longer without a landfall of a Category 3 hurricane than at any time in recorded history.

And something similar is happening with tornadoes. Tornado frequency is at the lowest level in 50 years, a trend that is continuing so far in 2014. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center says that the year to date is “[l]ikely the slowest start to tornado activity in any year in modern record, and possibly nearly a century!” NOAA says the severity of tornadoes is down, too.

Is “climate change” causing the weather to become milder? I doubt it. For one thing, the climate isn’t changing much at all, at the moment. But for whatever reason, we are living in a time of placid weather, compared with historical norms.


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