Adairsville Tornado: Are Tornadoes in January Normal?

Are tornadoes in January normal? The answer to that questions is, not really. A large section of the central and Southeast United States is facing an unusual spell of tornado watches and dangerous thunderstorms; the cause is an approaching cold front clashing with unusually warm air. As far north as New York City, temperatures are expected to reach 60 degrees on Wednesday; unseasonably warm temperatures for the Northeast this time of year.

Tornado warnings were first issued in the southern states on Tuesday night with tornado touch downs reported in Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee. On Wednesday morning, a tornado was reported in Adairsville, GA. As meteorologist Bill Bunting of the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center said, "It's a little unusual. We don't see this every winter with this kind of warmth preceding a storm system." 

The unseasonably warm temperatures, and the dramatic shifts in temperature have been felt around the country throughout the week and are at the root of the cause. On Monday, Kansas City reached 74 degrees, only to fall to 28 degrees on Tuesday night. Chicago saw Tuesday temperatures in the 60s. New Yorkers Wednesday woke up to temperatures in the 60s, after never seeing the thermometer rise above 30 last week. 

Tornadoes are most common in the spring, and sometimes fall, months when warm and cold seasons are in combat for control. While January tornadoes are not unheard of, this is certainly unseasonably early. 

For live updates on Wednesday's storm path, see here

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Elena Sheppard

Elena is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Mic. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Time Out New York, The New York Times Upfront, ABC News, and various travel publications. She is also a Princeton alum, a former Thailand resident, and a Brooklyn native.

MORE FROM

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens joins MSNBC

Stephens will remain a columnist at The New York Times.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Fox News just hired US Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a correspondent

Chaffetz is headed to Fox.

Here are the key rulings from the Supreme Court's busy June term

The court's term ended with rulings on immigration, the First Amendment, LGBTQ rights and more.

These 3 Republican governors could pose the biggest threat to the Senate health care bill

Why some Republican governors oppose their own party's health care bill

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens joins MSNBC

Stephens will remain a columnist at The New York Times.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Fox News just hired US Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a correspondent

Chaffetz is headed to Fox.

Here are the key rulings from the Supreme Court's busy June term

The court's term ended with rulings on immigration, the First Amendment, LGBTQ rights and more.

These 3 Republican governors could pose the biggest threat to the Senate health care bill

Why some Republican governors oppose their own party's health care bill