Last year was a bad season for tornadoes as well with nearly 1,700 of the storms. In a more normal year there are 1,300 tornadoes.
The extreme weather is expected to continue possibly as early as late this coming weekend or early next week, says Mr. Lundberg. “From the Rockies through to the Plains, there could be another system with a lot of severe weather,” says the meteorologist. “The window we are looking at is Sunday through Tuesday.”
Nor is that likely to be end of the extreme weather, Lundberg says. He expects the abnormally warm weather to persist through March and possibly into the beginning of April before the temperatures start to get closer to normal. “What we think will eventually happen is the weather will shift towards a drier pattern, especially farther west,” he says. “We are not sure when that will happen, but it should start to stabilize the weather patterns.”
Although trying to respond to the disasters, federal officials are also attempting to get communities to plan and prepare better. On March 3, Craig Fugate, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) warned that the nation will ultimately reach a point where it can no longer afford to subsidize risk that is not mitigated.
“We cannot afford to continue to respond to disasters and deal with the consequences under the current model,” said Mr. Fugate in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.
In fact, FEMA has turned down Illinois’ request for federal aid after a Feb. 29 tornado ripped through Harrisburg, Ill., killing seven people. "Based on our review of all the information available, it has been determined that the damage was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the State, affected local governments and voluntary agencies," wrote the agency in turning down the state’s application.