Tippett has a new study that gives some hope, pointing out potential factors — vertical wind shear, updraft and a type of rainfall — that might help for long-range tornado forecasts.
Later this summer, meteorologists will meet in a special conference to try to figure out how to do that type of longer-term tornado prediction. And the National Weather Service is installing new radar for live forecasting, tracking and distinguishing of tornadoes that could save lives in real-time because forecasters can be more certain in their warnings, said National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Schlatter.
All those elements together mean that maybe by 2020 or so, meteorologists will be able to say watch out this season or relax a bit — but not just yet, said federal researcher Brooks.
National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center:
National Weather Service's summary of 2011 tornado season:
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