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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — – 2023 has already been a very busy year in the United States for severe weather and tornadoes.
Several severe weather events have already occurred in January, from the northern Gulf Coast to the Midwest, all the way to central California.
According to the Storm Prediction Center, 139 unconfirmed tornadoes have already been reported this month. Although some of these reports are likely duplicates, this number is well above last year’s 37 tornadoes for the whole of January.
The three-year average for January tornadoes in the United States is 47.
Two tornadoes have already occurred in our region this year.
Southeast Georgia saw an EF-1 tornado in Pierce County and an EF-0 tornado in Charlton County on January 4.
Unfortunately, deaths from tornadoes are also well above average.
The Storm Prediction Center has already reported 8 deaths this month. 2022 had no fatalities, which is also the three-year average.
Why so many tornadoes?
Despite the cold and stability that often prevails in much of the country, tornadoes can occur during the first month of the year.
The La Nina pattern that is currently in place has resulted in powerful storm systems across California and in the northern Gulf coastal states.
These strong storm systems produce thunderstorms that have become capable of producing tornadoes.
For much of January, the cold, stable air mass was bottled up over Canada and parts of the Pacific Northwest. This allowed moist, unstable air to move forward, which helps fuel severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
More tornadoes expected
Unfortunately, the active month of January for tornadoes is expected to continue on Tuesday.
Much of the northern Gulf Coast and parts of the Texas coast are at increased risk from severe weather and tornadoes.
A narrow corridor from near Corpus Christi to Mobile was considered by the Storm Prediction Center for the threat of strong tornadoes Tuesday afternoon and evening.
More tornadoes, some of which could be strong, become likely later Tuesday.
Threat of severe weather locally
This storm system will push towards the region on Wednesday. It will be much weaker, but strong to severe thunderstorms will be possible.
The entire area was placed at a slight risk of heavy to severe storms. Tornadoes will be possible, with the highest risk in southeast Georgia and areas west of I-75 in northeast Florida.
The start of 2023 has been very busy with extreme weather and tornadoes, and more are expected to end January.
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It’s been a busy year for tornadoes — and more are expected Tuesday
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