A rotating thunderstorm, called a supercell, in northwestern Minnesota. Photo by Jason Naylor, Ph.D.
A rotating thunderstorm, called a supercell, in northwestern Minnesota. Photo by Jason Naylor, Ph.D.

With spring just around the corner, Louisville area residents will expect not only April showers and May flowers, but spring tornadoes. These destructive storms are fairly common in the greater Louisville area, which may lead weather buffs to wonder: What causes tornadoes and what makes them more or less destructive?

At the next Beer with a Scientist, Jason Naylor, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Louisville, will discuss the formation of tornadoes and share data that indicate there may be pockets in and around Louisville that are more prone to severe weather. Naylor studies severe weather events with the goal of identifying factors that affect their intensity, duration and frequency.

“The number of tornadoes in the United States in 2018 was far below normal. This may have been an anomaly or it may be related to climate change,” Naylor said. “There are factors related to climate change that may impact the frequency and spatial distribution of U.S. tornadoes and other severe weather events.”

He also will discuss how humans may be affecting severe weather on a smaller, more local scale. His current research is investigating how severe weather patterns may be altered by the presence of large cities.

Naylor’s talk will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Holsopple Brewing, 8023 Catherine Lane, Louisville, 40222. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

Admission is free. Purchase of beer or other items is not required but is encouraged.

Upcoming Beer with a Scientist dates: Feb. 13, March 13, April 17, May 15.

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Betty Coffman
Betty Coffman is a Health Communications Specialist, working on the Health Sciences Campus with departments in the School of Medicine. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Marketing and Communications.