Forecasters with the National Weather Service say a phenomena known as La Nina — a cooling of water along the equator — is the reason why the state and country are experiencing nearly double the number of tornadoes in 2008 than in an average year.
The last time I remember the La Nina effect being so strong was in 1988/1989 while I was in school in L.A. Boy, was there a lot of rain and flooding. We didn't have the tornadoes.
The current La Niña event, characterized by a cooling of the sea surface in the central and eastern Equatorial Pacific, has strengthened slightly in recent months and is expected to continue through the first quarter of 2008, with a likelihood of persisting through to the middle of the year. ScienceDaily
It looks like we can expect more tornadoes and rain into next year. It's a good time to check out your emergency kit.