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Tornadoes, Hurricanes And El Nino

That huge Pacific weather phenomenon, El Nino, still is causing unusual weather events such as the extraordinary run of tornadoes this country has undergone.

And if you think the side effects of El Nino are finished - not so fast. The tornado prime time of year is going into hurricane season. And hurricane season beginning roughly right about now. And we have yet to see if, and if so, how, El Nino will affect the hurricane prime time, generally June until mid-October.

What happened with the North American tornado year, up to now, is this: More and more vicious tornadoes began earlier than normal. These early tornadoes were of greater velocity and greater frequency than expected for their time of year.

Then came the usual time of year for the most tornadoes - the past couple of months. This weekend was just one more example of what has turned out to be an unusual year for tornadoes.

More than a dozen people were killed by tornadoes and tornado-like weather from the upper Midwest to New England.

Tiny Spencer, South Dakota was literally wiped off the map. Wisconsin, Michigan, Massachusettes and Pennsylvania all had fatalties. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont were among states where horrible weather, including freak winds, caused havoc and much damage.

And you may want to note that while we are, supposedly, at or near the end of the worst of the so called tornado season, it may not be completely over. And more tornadoes certainly are possible through the summer.

It is not, not yet anyway, a record year for tornado deaths. But there have been an unusually high number of them, stretching over a longer than normal period, in perhaps more widespread places - and that is generally attributed to what El Nino contributed.

As we begin moving into hurricane season now, so far as experts with their new satellite technology and know-how can determine, thre are no hurricanes brewing at this hour. However, the warnings are clear: Worse this year than last, for hurricanes, is the general forecast.

It is simply too soon to say how much, if any, of what happens during this hurricane season can be attributed to El Nino. But, one way or another El Nino's aftereffects figure to be part of the equation this hurricane season. And the likelihood is not for the better.

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