Environmental covariate representation of seasonal U.S. tornado frequency

Vittorio A. Gensini, Lelys Bravo DE GUENNI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The significant tornado parameter is a widely used meteorological composite index that combines several variables known to favor tornadic supercell thunderstorms. This research examines the spatial relationship between U.S. tornado frequency and the significant tornado parameter (the predictor covariate) across four seasons in order to establish a spatial–statistical model that explains significant amounts of variance in tornado occurrence (the predictand). U.S. tornadoes are highly dependent on the significant tornado parameter in a climatological sense. The strength of this dependence is seasonal, with greatest dependence found during December–February and least dependence during June–August. Additionally, the strength of this dependence has not changed significantly through the 39-yr study period (1979–2017). Results herein represent an important step forward for the creation of a predictive spatial–statistical model to aid in tornado prediction at seasonal time scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1353-1367
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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