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Unforced variations: May 2011

Filed under: — group @ 5 May 2011

This month’s open thread.

Seed topics: The genealogy of climate models, how to compare different greenhouse gases, whether a 2 deg C temperature target makes sense (Stoat has already weighed in), or reflections on the Nenana Ice classic (which has just concluded for this year). But you decide.

396 Responses to “Unforced variations: May 2011”

  1. 1
  2. 2
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    But where the RC scientists could really help the rest of us would be to say something about the record number of weather records last year, continuing relentlessly into 2011. What say you?

    (sorry about that html error in my previous comment)

  3. 3
    walt man says:

    Posted but never displayed on CA wrt McIntyres never ending FOI tirade against the UEA:


    Dear Mr. xxxxxxx,
    I write in response to your request which was received by the University on May 3, 2010 under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) for access to the following:
    “…copies of all letters written to and received from Stephen McIntyre, Patrick J. Michaels and Anthony Watts for the period of 2002 to current date by Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph. The information is to include all copies of documents that may be backed up in mail servers.”
    Your request for access to the responsive records is denied. The reasons for this decision are outlined below.
    Subsection 65(8.1) of FIPPA states that the Act does not apply to “a record respecting or associated with research conducted or proposed by an employee of an educational institution, or by a person associated with an educational institution”. This exclusion is intended to preserve academic freedom and competitiveness; in particular with respect to specific, identifiable research projects that have been conceived by a faculty member of the University. Records identified as responsive to your request are in regard to research being conducted or proposed by the authors, thereby excluding them from the scope of the Act.
    Additionally, s.21(1) of the Act requires that the University refuse to disclose personal information to any person other than the individual to whom the information relates. Responsive records that were not respecting or associated with research conducted or proposed by Professor McKitrick were personal in nature; therefore, the University is obliged to protect these records.
    In light of these factors, your request for access to responsive records is denied.

    and that cost me $5!

    Dear Mr. xxxxxxx,

    The University’s decision, sent to you on June 2, 2010, is final. There is a mechanism for you to appeal the decision to the Information and Privacy
    Commissioner of Ontario (IPC). Information on the appeal process may be found on the IPC website at


    So come-on McIntyre give the world a dump of all your emails (unedited of course!) and show the willingness that you claim others are not giving to you.

    Only fair!!!!!!!!!

  4. 4
    MarkB says:

    I’ve only gotten through about 100 pages so far, but I’m really liking Richard Alley’s “Earth: The Operator’s Manual”. There was a PBS companion program on this (that I missed) but it appears to be on youtube.

  5. 5

    Re. ‘2C or not 2C’ by Tim Lenton

    I really like the focus on radiative forcing.

  6. 6
    Dan H. says:

    Weather is not the same as climate. One must take extreme care when trying to tie specific weather events to changes in climate.

  7. 7
    Thomas says:

    There’s been a lot of talk about the unprecedented tornado outbreaks. But as far as I’ve seen, climatologists are uncertain whether such storms are likely to become more or less frequent as the globe warms. Does anyone who has studied the issue want to chime in with informed comments and/or data?

  8. 8
  9. 9
    David B. Benson says:

    Thomas @7 — As the atmosphere warms it can hold more water vopor. So when it rains, it pours. Warmer SSTs probably promote more warm, moisture laden air. So when it rains is really rains.

    That’s not enough to promote tornadoes, but it does appear, in general, that there have been more extreme precipitation events, although prehaps I’m just more aware of these than I used to be.

  10. 10
    Susan Anderson says:

    While uncertainty and a sense of proportion, as well as awareness of complexity, require the statement that no single weather event can be attributed to global warming, it seems the fake skeptic community has figured out how to exploit this by saying it *proves* that no weather whatsoever is being affected by climate change.

    So while y’all are being so polite and careful hay is being made.

    btw, I had fun looking up cv’s for Trenberth and Emanuel for DotEarth to respond to claims they’re no good because they participated in CRU review coverup. Quite some guys!

  11. 11
    Edward Greisch says:
    Up Side of Population (Projections)
    Shaping Human Path to 15, or 6, Billion by 2100
    Warning: the links mostly go to the NYT and help use up your 20 free articles for the month

    2 very misguided pieces by Andy Revkin. They are another form of denialism: Just ignore GW and the Earth’s limited carrying capacity and extend a curve on a graph. Some people may be naive enough to take it as a refutation of GW, but it isn’t. Sorry Andy, you and those you reference are in denial, not on to a new idea.

  12. 12
    adelady says:

    Dan@ 6. It’s true there are difficulties here. But floods are pretty amenable to analysis.

    Just take the 4% increase in water vapour held in the atmosphere. When a flood occurs it’s reasonable, if a bit finicky, to calculate the amount of precipitation leading to that flood. Subtract 4% and see how that affects the flood levels reached in the area.

    In many places that have flooded recently, 4% less precipitation would eliminate the record levels attained. If you can do that, you can say that the flood level reached, or its impact, or however you describe it, is directly attributable to climate change.

  13. 13
    Magnus W says:

    Any one know if this is sent in for publicaion somwhere?


  14. 14
    John Brookes says:

    Jorg Imberger at the University of Western Australia recently gave a seminar where he discussed a simple model of a world that was all water and icecaps. He showed that this model produced warm/cool cycles where icecaps advanced and retreated with a period of about 150ky. There was no change in solar insolation (i.e. no Milankovich cycles).

    Any thoughts?

    [Response: Do you have a reference? People have speculated for a long time that there was a natural frequency around 100kyr that eccentricity variations were amplifying. I recall that isostatic rebound was sometimes brought up as the key physics…. is that the case here? – gavin]

  15. 15
    GlenFergus says:

    Devastating tornados in the US tornado belt in tornado season … ho hum. But a deadly tornado in Auckland, New Zealand … huh?

  16. 16
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    China has more than doubled its target for solar power capacity to 50 gigawatts by 2020, state media said, as the world’s largest polluter steps up efforts to boost clean energy sources.

    China hopes its installed solar power capacity will reach 10 gigawatts by 2015 and 50 gigawatts by the end of the decade.

    Meanwhile, Progress in America = 0.00

  17. 17
    daniel nall says:

    While individual storms cannot be ascribed to climate change, it seems that more and/or more intense storms are a simple thermodynamic consequence. If the global rate of evaporation from the ocean surface increases because of higher surface water temperature, then the global rate of precipitation will also increase (morerain), more condensation in the atmosphere will mean a greater heat release. In general, more heat release in the atmosphere results in greater or more frequent temperature differentials which result in greater opr more frequent buoyancy driven flows, which result in more wind. Can’t say where, can’t say when, but almost certainly can say more (frequency and/or intensity).

  18. 18

    Spencer actually has an interesting blog post about tornadoes that makes some sense. It includes the statements:

    ..tornadoes require strong wind shear (wind speed and direction changing rapidly with height in the lower atmosphere), the kind which develops when cold and warm air masses “collide”.


    But contrasting air mass temperatures is the key. Active tornado seasons in the U.S. are almost always due to unusually COOL air persisting over the Midwest and Ohio Valley longer than it normally does as we transition into spring.

    He of course argues that climate change, which warms the air, should produce less tornadoes, not more.

    I’d argue, conversely, that climate change adds more energy to the system and so can force larger, cold air masses from the pole further south, causing more frequent and greater instances of temperature imbalances that lead to more and larger tornadoes.

    Of course, I’m not a weatherman. I don’t even play one on TV.

  19. 19
    Susan Anderson says:

    Sphaerica and dan nall, thanks

    All info on weather and climate is useful. It takes a while to absorb but those were both adding light rather than heat (wordplay not intended)

    Edward G
    Thankfully, Andy is just a sideshow. The main article by Justin Gillis and Celia Dugger did quite well.

    Subscription to NYTimes is 3.95 per week but it is hardly “the newspaper of record” any more.

    Search for Gillis also turned up this:
    Global Warming Reduces Expected Yields of Harvests in Some Countries, Study Says

    DailyKos: most of their environment aggregation/coverage:,-algae-blooms,-and-midge-population

  20. 20
    Dan H. says:

    I would have to agree with Roy on this one. The cold air mass in place during this recent tornado outburst is more indicative of a strong La Nina than a warming climate. I am curious about why would would expect large, cold air masses to be forced further south during a warming climate?

  21. 21
    anniet says:

    I was just forwarded to this board and so have not been following prior conversations but just from reading this one, I have a question…

    It’s clear that it is difficult to relate weather directly to climate change. Simultaneously, we have to admit that climate change is not only a natural problem, but a social problem, and if we are going to address the social problems, we need to find ways to make it tangible, local, manageable, and actionable. We need to help people understand that this is an incredibly critical issue for THEM and we need to help and support them in finding ways to address it in their own lives, communities, and states.

    If those things are both true, is it not possible for us to say something like “While you can never be sure that floods, tornadoes, and other extreme weather events are related to climate change, there’s a darn good chance. We know the climate is changing. We know there’s increased water vapor in the atmosphere. And we know these things can have an impact on weather”?

    Local weather (incl. unseasonal temperatures, increased flood events, other hazards) is probably the most tangible way for people to imagine that climate change is real, is happening, and is happening to them. I believe that one of the biggest blockades to people making changes in their lives is due to the fact that no one on tv, or in the White House, or in their communities (even people who should be making comments on natural resource/hazard issues – Forest Service employees, environmental non-profits, etc.) will make any statement linking clear shifts on the ground to this nebulous climate issue. They think, “Well if those people aren’t talking about it, then I must not need to worry about it either.”

    Knowing what we know scientifically, how can we find a way to make this issue local?

  22. 22
    Robert Murphy says:

    Dan H.:
    “I am curious about why would would expect large, cold air masses to be forced further south during a warming climate?”

    It’s called weather. Are you also curious as to why very warm air masses get stuck in the arctic at the same time the cold air masses get stuck in lower latitudes? Do you think there might be a connection?

  23. 23
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    #6 Dan H. “Weather is not the same as climate.” Thanks … I’ve known that for a few years. Yes, weather is day to day events, climate is the statistics of weather over a number of years. My question to RC is about the extreme number of extreme events in a short time – i.e the statistics of weather, i.e climate. It’s not just one big flood, it’s the concentration of big floods in a short time. And droughts elsewhere, from Australia to the Rio Negro drainage region.

    # 9 David Benson (physics pedantry, not really news to you but may be to some) the atmosphere “can hold more water vapor”? That’s not it. The amount of water vapor in a certain volume would be the same in an airless flask at the same temperature, with some water in the bottom. No air is needed to hold it. There is more water vapor in the air because 1) the vapor pressure of water is higher at a higher temperature, 2) the same atmospheric factors premote condensation as in the past 3) so the average (*) relative humidity stays about the same.

    (*) I don’t know what sort of “average” this is, exactly. More area is becoming arid even while other areas have more extreme precipitation events. There is more water in the air except where there isn’t.

    RC climatologists, why do you maintain radio silence on an aspect of climate change that is of great public interest? Of course I know you are not obligated to answer such questions, and I greatly appreciate all the posts and inline responses here, and I also know that the way to get an answer on the internet is to post the wrong answer. I don’t want to post a totally wrong answer on purpose (doing it by accident ought to suffice ;)). But there ought be a way I can provoke some response. Maybe Gavin thinks he has to wait 30 years to address this. :)

    [Response: It’s not an easy topic and there also hasn’t been a whole lot of research on it. You have to have several types of information that we don’t necessarily have, like a dependable observational record that goes back as far as possible, and good physical models that connect the different, relevant spatio-temporal scales. Here’s one paper that lays out some of the problems and a proposed approach to the topic, w.r.t tornado analysis: Van Klooster and Roebber, 2009: Surface-Based Convective Potential in the Contiguous United States in a Business-as-Usual Future Climate. J. Climate, 22, 3317–3330. Here’s another: Trapp, Halvorson, and Diffenbaugh (2007). Telescoping, multimodel approaches to evaluate extreme convective weather under future climates, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2006JD008345.–Jim]

  24. 24
    Thomas says:

    Bob@20. One could argue that because of GW the moist humid gulf airmasses will be avaiable ealier in the season, to clash with the still seasonably cools midwestern air. Tornado frequency versus climate, I suspect requires detailed modeling to disentangle the various effects. The questions is are the models up to the task.

  25. 25

    #14 John Brookes

    I’d like to see a paper on that as well. The most interesting part of the argument is that while denialists might use the model to divert attention away from GHG’s, toward the natural argument; in essence it actually leads more credence to the feedback amplification potential of earth’s climate system.

    Either way, the mechanisms need to be identified.

    Is there a paper?

  26. 26
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Bob and Dan H.
    Greater water vapor content (from warm air off the Gulf) results in more condensation and latent heat. This, in turn develops more uplift of the type needed to develop tornadoes.

    What determines the persistence of cool air over the Midwest is the Jetstream. What we’re seeing in the South is weather. Only the dishonest or deluded would argue attribution either way on this.

  27. 27
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    Tornadoes, or tornado outbreaks? If you follow this list of North American outbreaks through the decades, it looks like things are getting worse. I don’t know that outbreaks are related to La Niñas though. btw the current La Niña is winding down atypically. Will La Niña come back in the fall giving us a two year event?

  28. 28
    Jeffrey Davis says:

    re: 18

    What seems to be happening is that the changes in polar winds due to AGW is sending more cold air masses down into North America. Spencer wants to apply global criterion (general warming) to local phenomenon (a conflict between continental air masses). If one of the consequences of AGW is that the cap of polar air will get redistributed, then the reduction in temperature differentials sufficient to reduce tornadoes is really far in the future.

  29. 29

    In the case of ‘Weather v. Climate’ I think it is fair to say that all weather is now sitting in the back seat of our new ‘enhanced’ climate vehicle.

    Since the radiative forcing has increased all weather is along for the ride. The main driver is climate, the backseat driver is weather (thrashing about inside the car like bunch of kids fighting over the french fries). But it remains, all the weather is inside the climate vehicle and the driver has been imbibing on too many GHG’s, so we are in for a ride, and jumping out of the vehicle is not an option.

  30. 30
    SecularAnimist says:

    No individual weather event can be attributed to any single cause.

    That’s because weather events do not arise from single causes. Weather events arise from the confluence of a whole host of causes and conditions.

    Anthropogenic global warming is now an inescapable, pervasive condition that influences ALL weather events, extreme or otherwise.

    We live in an anthropogenically warmed world now. There is no such thing on this planet any more as weather that is not in some way affected by global warming.

  31. 31
    Dan H. says:

    Although increased water vapor from the gulf will result in more condensation, the change in the Gulf SST is small compared to the change in air temperatures in the Midwest. The difference was greater largely due to the cold air mass, which generated the necessary uplift. Most of the predictions I have seen concernign AGW have been for stronger and more frequent El Ninos, which would produce the opposite effect.
    NOAA has found no correlation between tornadoes and AGW, and the strong La Nina year of 1974 showed the previous high tornadic activity.

  32. 32
    Ric Merritt says:

    As usual, Michael Tobis has the balance about right, re the 2C target and the interface between good science and policy that is at least OK.

    Thanks to Pete Dunkelberg for the quote and link in #1.

  33. 33
    Dan H. says:

    That would be an interesting anaylsis. The frame of mind from which one bases their assumptions could have a large impact on their results. Starting from a more objective position would most liekly result in a significantly different conclusion.

  34. 34

    On Attribution, Weather, Extreme Weather, and Climate Change (in no particular order)…

    First, I would argue that almost no attribution is possible anywhere at the current time for almost any weather related event (hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, etc.), because warming to date, while significant, is unlikely to be directly affecting anything on a level which could possibly be teased out.

    2˚C will be another story.

    Second, on what would or wouldn’t cause more or stronger tornadoes… my previous thoughts were purely conjecture, based on Spencer’s post, and were completely uneducated (which is why I explicitly albeit jokingly and obtusely said that I couldn’t even pretend to be qualified on the subject, let alone attain the lofty stature of some well-known blogging weathermen).

    I was primarily pointing out that I felt that Spencer’s argument for it not being climate change related was invalid. I didn’t mean to imply that I was arguing that it was caused by climate change, but simply that his argument that it wasn’t caused by climate change seemed overly simplistic.

    Interestingly, though, this is something that I think could be studied pretty easily, if anyone cared to. There’s an online database of tornadoes in the US, by latitude, longitude, date and strength. A statistical analysis of that data (at some future date, when changes might be more dramatic), would be of interest. I’d be particularly interested in looking for any change in the pattern of the location and timing of tornadoes of various strengths… does tornado alley move or expand (or shrink) with climate change in space, time, or intensity?

  35. 35

    Dan H,

    I am curious about why would would expect large, cold air masses to be forced further south during a warming climate?

    I’d refer you to the below snippets.

    (Don’t read too much into this… I’m not at all saying this has anything to do with anything… as a mere NYT article, I don’t really put that much faith in it. I’m just answering the hypothetical about air masses being forced further south as a result of a warming climate. Also, while I said “further south”, I really just meant any change… further, stronger, sooner/later, whatever.)

    NY Times article on recent cold winters

    James E. Overland, a climate scientist with NOAA in Seattle, has proposed that the extra warmth in the Arctic Ocean could be heating the atmosphere enough to make it less dense, causing the air pressure over the Arctic to be closer to that of the middle latitudes. “The added heat works against having a strong polar vortex,” he said.


    When that pressure difference diminishes, however, the jet stream weakens and meanders southward, bringing warm air into the Arctic and cold air into the midlatitudes

    The past two winters we’ve seen snow and cold reach very far south.

    This has happened intermittently for many decades. Still, it is unusual for the polar vortex to weaken as much as it has lately. Last winter, one index related to the vortex hit its lowest wintertime value since record-keeping began in 1865, and it was quite low again in December.

  36. 36
    John E. Pearson says:

    31 Dan H said Most of the predictions I have seen concernign AGW have been for stronger and more frequent El Ninos,

    DUnno where you saw most of your predictions but Wallace Broecker in Fixing Climate suggests that La Nina’s will become stronger and more frequent. He is honest though and says that it isn’t yet clear.

  37. 37
    dhogaza says:

    and the strong La Nina year of 1974 showed the previous high tornadic activity.

    Actually, no, the two previous highest outbreaks were in May 2003 and 2004. Mortality is a poor proxy for tornado activity levels.

    Dr. Jeff Masters wrote about it over at his wunderground blog, if you have a problem with it, take it up with him.

  38. 38

    There were truly interesting events which kept me really busy during the past recent Arctic months, some can be seen on and blog as linked.

    Of great concern, Arctic Ocean ice is a best in terrible shape, teetering between a massive drop in extent and or remaining in very fragile condition. Yet reporting of this is in worse condition than the ice itself.

  39. 39
    PapikB48 says:

    The rapid development of automotive industry in the 50s and 60 meant that urban transport systems are often coming back in the nineteenth century was becoming unwieldy.
    The existence of narrow, winding, cobbled streets with trams torowiskami combined with a lack of ring roads and parking lots result in the creation of huge traffic jams and “suffocation”in both big cities and smaller towns. [url=]Pozycjonowanie stron[/url]
    It was therefore radical measures aimed at creating a “city car” – began demolishing a big share in the city centers to the site burzonych buildings (often old) to build a multi-lane highway with intersections bezkolizyjnymi often divide the city into several parts.

  40. 40
    Dan H. says:

    Wow, I seem to have drawn a crowd. Thanks Bob for the article. Living in Michigan, I pay attention to the polar vortex in regards to northern latitudes winters, and was aware that this past winter was typical of a very weak vortex. With the recent talk about La Nina being a likely culprit in the tornadic activity, I had forgotten about the polar vortex. I will have to look further into this as a possible cause. I had not seen anything about the added Arctic warmth contributing to the weakening, but it is an interesting theory.
    The NOAA article shows 1974 has the highest for strong tornadoes (F3+). 2003 and 2004 were very low. Do you have a link that shows otherwise?
    I will defer to an earlier RC piece by Rasmus and Ray.

  41. 41
    David Beach says:

    Re: 15 GlenFergus, New Zealand sits between the tropical Pacific and the Southern (Antarctic) Ocean, so the occasional mixing of cold and warm-humid air is not unexpected. We get waterspouts often enough and occluded fronts are common – perhaps it is surprising that we do *not* get more tornados.

  42. 42
    John E. Pearson says:

    Dan H. in the RC piece referenced in 40 it says: how ENSO will respond to a global warming is still not settled.

    You took not settled and turned it into Most of the predictions I have seen concernign AGW have been for stronger and more frequent El Ninos .

  43. 43
    Holly Stick says:

    Trenberth, Mann & Schmidt talking about tornadoes and climate change:

    I think I saw that link in comments at Rabett Run.

  44. 44
    Edward Greisch says:

    Polar vortex: Look up Rossby waves.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Snapple says:

    Here is this astroturf “Evangelical” organization profiled in the Guardian. The article reveals their connections with the fossil-fuel companies.

    Maybe you will make a post about this. I told you this group some time ago.

    I hope people will not think that all religious people are like these clowns. The Vatican and many Protestant organizations accept the science of climate change.

    Dr. Michael Mann has even participated in a Vatican workshop, and the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy recently had the first of a series of workshops on climate change. The Pontifical Academicians include famous climate scientists.

    The Denialist Party would not need to create astroturf religious organizations if churches and councils of churches were really oriented to denialism.

    I think the Denialist Party is afraid that if Americans really understood the dangers of global warming they would want government to help them make the needed transformations.

    After all, that is the role of government, to protect the people from huge dangers. I’m a capitalist, but nobody expects the free enterprise system to defeat the Nazis or kill Bin Laden.

    Those fossil-fuel companies sponsor all that Libertarian baloney, but they get money from the government.

    These big companies socialize the risks and privatize the profits. They own our politicians. That’s not capitalism. That’s just corruption. That’s pretty much like what they have in Russia.

    I hope you consider making a post about this.

  47. 47

    #40 Dan , No the vortex was anything but weak, it was fiercely cold at center and long lasting. Please refer to my blog and webpage. There was likely a great link between more open water and thinner Arctic Ocean ice of 2010, eventually creating the right conditions for unusual cooling of the Polar vortex due at first to very high tropopause kept very high by an exceedingly warm beginning of Arctic winter (with Average Monthly temperatures varying between +5 and +30 C!). This seems complex, I don’t expect any contrarian to understand, I expect them throwing facts under the bus , then explain the whole thing has something to do with Global Cooling.

  48. 48
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Risto Linturi (Handbook in Denial thread):
    there are some things about Stewart Brand that you may want to know, like that he’s a DDT denialist, and links therein (I’d rather bite my tongue than link to Monbiot, but he makes this same point :-). Not the nice guy you take him for.

  49. 49
    Jim Eager says:

    Jim Bullis @93: “But that argument is far stronger given that 100% of the energy to run the lawn mower will come from coal.

    Again, an assumption that is not warranted for all jurisdictions.

    Ontario is not only building zero new coal generation capacity, it is phasing out all existing coal fired generation and is planning to replace it and provide increased capacity with additional wind, solar, nuclear, and peak period natural gas generation capacity.

    Not sure what new hydroelectric Hydro Quebec has on the drawing board, but Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to developing the lower Churchill River for domestic supply and export.

    Do not assume that the North American market is exclusively and uniformly dependent on coal.

  50. 50
    Brian Blagden says:

    # 7
    Extreme weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes are dependant on wind shear.

    Hurricane formation requires low vertical wind shear. Hurricanes cannot form if the vertical wind shear is too high (above about 8 meters per second).

    During El Niño (Warm) years wind shear in the tropical Atlantic is too high for hurricanes to form whereas in La Nina (cold) years wind shear is low allowing hurricanes to form.

    In conclusion – the chances for the continental U.S. and the Caribbean Islands to experience a hurricane increase substantially during La Niña years, and decrease during El Niño years.

    Tornadoes on the other hand require high wind shear as results at the interface between cold arctic air and warm gulf air – as happened this year. Such low latitude intrusion of arctic air is typical of La Nina years. The relationship between tornadoe outbreak and Enso is described within the following article entitled:
    “Impacts Of ENSO On United States Tornadic Activity” by Mark C. Bove of the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) at The Florida State University
    (See: )

    Bove (1999) found most large outbreaks and major tornadoes occur in cold (La Nina) or neutral (La Nada) years. He refers to the analyses by Grazulis in 1991.

    The important figures to be taken from it are:

    Between 1950 and 1988 with regard to F4 – F5 tornados the relationship with ENSO is as follows:
    ENSO Cold Phase = 162 Tornadoes
    ENSO Neutral Phase = 146 Tornadoes
    ENSO Warm Phase = 82 Tornadoes

    As far as I am aware we are currently in La Nina and therefore should expect more tornadoes and hurricanes associated with the current global cold phase.