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January's severe weather is breaking records

The calendar may say January, but lately, the weather has been behaving like it's springtime.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — While tornadoes are typically associated with the spring and summer months, the Southeast can also experience them during the winter. 

As of January 20th, there have been 122 preliminary tornado reports nationwide in 2023, according to the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). The national tornado average for this month is just 39. 

This could rank this month of January as one of the most active in terms of tornado outbreaks in the 21st century.

This month in the Midlands, we saw 3 confirmed tornadoes.

January tornadoes are caused by a combination of factors, including moisture and warm temperatures

The average temperature during our winter months in the Midlands has risen by nearly 3.5 degrees from 1970 through 2022, according to Climate Central.

During last week’s deadly tornado outbreak in the deep South, water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico were 5 or 6 degrees above average. The abnormally warm air and water temperatures can be directly linked to fueling these violent storms.

While tornadoes in January may be unexpected, being prepared and staying informed can help keep you and your family safe.

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