There’s an upside to the drought that’s affecting so much of the nation: fewer tornadoes.
Preliminary data gathered by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that fewer tornadoes skipped, dragged or plowed across the United States in July than during any other July in the 60 years since reliable numbers began being recorded. The same analysis shows that the summer of 2012 may break the record for the fewest tornadoes for any U.S. summer.
The number of July twister touchdowns this year was a skimpy 12 — a far cry from the 150 or so that have been known to rake across the lower 48 states in the late summer months. Before this year, the quietest July was in 1960 when 42 tornadoes swept across parts of the U.S.
Brooks said the reason is as clear as the omnipresent pale blue skies overhead: No thunderstorms.