You read that right. According to a new study featured in National Geographic, tornadoes and hailstorms are less likely to occur on a Saturday or Sunday. That’s because hail and tornadoes thrive on air pollution, which is higher towards the middle of the week, thanks to all of the motor vehicle use.
The study looked at summertime storm activity and found above-average rates of storms midweek and below-average rates on weekends. It turns out that this is because moisture likes pollutants: Water particles cling to that particulate matter, float up higher in the atmosphere, and create hail. Meanwhile, pollutants also end up indirectly making the air warmer, creating conditions in which tornado-birthing supercell clouds form more easily.
According to study co-author Daniel Rosenfeld of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, the research “provides yet another good reason for reducing air pollution,” Rosenfeld said. As if we needed one!
So now we’re going to add “tornado prevention” to GMTMA’s long list of benefits incurred by all of our congestion management programs. Want to learn more about preventing tornados…as well as improving air quality, public health, your waistline, traffic gridlock, and your wallet? Work with us to get your kids to walk to school, start up a bicycle or pedestrian project in your community, work on a Bike to Work event, participate in our Green Commuter Rewards program, make your business greener, rent a bike locker or find a biking buddy, and much more.