Williams: 'Smart' Say Tornadoes a Reaction to Abuse of Earth
I talked to three people, casual conversation today, all of them smart, saying “I don't know, we must be doing something to our Earth.”Karins gently corrected him: “Well, there are correlations that can be made. Global warming not quite one of them. La Nina, more likely.”
The not so in depth “In Depth” segment on the Monday, May 12 NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: We're back with NBC News In Depth tonight. Tornado season, especially vicious this year. As we reported earlier in the broadcast, this has been one of the most active, deadly tornado seasons in a long time. So we asked Bill Karins, meteorologist with NBC Weather Plus, to join us tonight to explain why this might be happening now.
You heard the stats in Al Roker [soundbite in earlier story]. They're already at August levels. I talked to three people, casual conversation today, all of them smart, saying “I don't know, we must be doing something to our Earth.” So once and for all, what's going on?
BILL KARINS: Well, there are correlations that can be made. Global warming not quite one of them. La Nina, more likely. I'll get to that in a second. Let's first talk about the numbers out there so far: 850 tornadoes. Let's just compare that to the last three years at this point in May. Well above 250 last year. If you look at 2005, we're about 600 above that. And. Of course, these are just the number of touchdowns. The important number the deaths, the deaths are also way up this year. We already had 96. In 2005 everyone was happy saying our Doppler radars and warning services were doing the job. Now the question is what are we doing wrong?
WILLIAMS: What do we do in the future? There's no way to predict these numbers trending up and down.
KARINS: All we can really try to do is find what the triggers are, try to give people the most warning possible. One of the new studies that came out was talking about the connection to the La Nina. Now that's actually cooler water in the Pacific. We just got done with that. What these storms do is they tend to produce larger tornadoes. This is kind of like a new theory and a new thinking that's come out. And what happens is we get big tornadoes, the ones that wipe the foundations clean. It doesn't matter if you're in your safe room or in you're tub. You have to all be in a storm shelter. You can't survive those. Those are the ones we've seen this year.
WILLIAMS: Absolutely monstrous. Bill, thank you for joining us, clearing this up. Something tells me we'll have you back on talking about the same thing.