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An Increase In Tornado Activity Is Catching Indiana By Surprise

Trees and Plants Affected by Tornado

Broken branches and wildlife in the aftermath of a tornado (Steve Burns/WFIU)

An Indiana University professor says more research is needed before scientists can determine whether there’s a direct link between climate change and an increase in tornadoes.

Weather officials say 53 tornados may have struck ground over several Midwestern states on Monday, including Indiana. 

Findings from the National Climatic Data Center indicate that 2019 is a particularly strong year for tornado activity. 

Paul Staten is an assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at IU. He says climate change can affect certain weather conditions that facilitate tornado outbreaks.

"Low-level moisture and instability are both ingredients that will be dialed up by climate change," Staten says. "And there is some evidence that the intensity of tornados is increasing."

The National Weather Service says at least eight tornadoes hit Indiana Monday.

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