A single tornado can damage a mile-wide area for nearly 50 miles, which can be devastating to any person, animal, or building it its path. But tornado outbreaks, like the ones that struck the Southeast at the end of November, can wreak havoc on an even wider scale.

Over the course of just two days, at least three dozen tornadoes struck the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. So far, there have been seven confirmed deaths due to these tornadoes. Scientists and meteorologists have taken note of larger, more frequent clusters in recent years, but are not sure what the causes are.

Scientists have noted …