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Can Joe Biden Tell Hurricanes and Tornadoes Apart?

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

In another episode of something that's become almost as American as apple pie, President Biden made a gaffe while delivering remarks over the weekend about the tornado outbreak that devastated five states and killed dozens.


Talking about the carnage caused by the tornadoes, Biden spoke of "the debris that you see scattered all over the hurricane's path."

Hurricane, huh? In Kentucky? In December? It's another case of Biden's apparent inability to make it through public remarks without a gaffe. 

Biden's misstatement over the weekend is not the first time he's struggled with severe weather phenomena — or tornadoes in particular. Back in September, Biden fought (and lost) an internal fight with meteorological nomenclature when he claimed "they don't call [tornadoes] that anymore," apparently conflating tornadoes and derechos.

As Townhall reported at the time:

"It's all across the country, you know, the members of Congress know from their colleagues in Congress that uh, you know, it looks like a tornado, they don't call 'em that anymore," Biden explained, "that hit the crops and wetlands in the middle of the country in Iowa and Nevada and I mean, it's just across the board. And uh, you know um, as I said, we're in this together."

While it's unclear exactly what the President was trying to say, it seems he is confusing a derecho that swept across the city of Nevada, Iowa in August of 2020 with not-tornado tornadoes that struck the states of Nevada and Iowa. Surely, the President knows that Nevada is not in the middle of the country, right?

In any case, to clear things up: Tornadoes are still tornadoes and Derechos are still Derechos. Nevada is not in the middle of the country, but Nevada, Iowa is. 


As Biden was mistaken to say a hurricane hit Kentucky over the weekend, he was also wrong to say that it's an obvious "fact" that global warming causes more frequent or stronger tornadoes. 

As Townhall explains here, the science surrounding climate change's impact on tornadic activity is far from settled. What is settled, however, is the fact that a hurricane definitely did not hit Kentucky over the weekend. 

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