Expert look at cause of deadly storms - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Expert look at cause of deadly storms


MADISON (WKOW) -- Experts say this is probably the most violent year of storms in half a century.

That is not necessarily because there have been more storms but because those storms are hitting more populated areas

Greg Tripoli, UW-Madison Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences Professor, says there is a "perfect storm" of factors that explain what is happening.

Tripoli says it is a mix of the cooling of the surface water in the Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean, a long-term shift in weather that takes 30 to 60 days to move from one place to another and cold air over Asia.

He says the warm season is starting sooner. That means it is intersecting with the cold season produced over Asia. Together, they are forming one big jet stream.

Tripoli says he can't be sure if it is climate change, but it is definitely unusual.

"The manifestation of climate change may be that we get more of these big heavy bursts," Tripoli says. "After all, in Wisconsin we've had three 500-year floods in the past five years."

He can't predict if this will continue, creating more deadly storms.

Tripoli and his colleagues could be studying this for the next few years to pinpoint the cause.

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