Disasters in the US: An Extreme and Exhausting Year: So far, 2011 has brought its share of major tornadoes and tornado outbreaks, droughts, floods, and even a rare hurricane in the Northeast. With $35 billion dollars in natural disaster damage thus far this year, it seems natural to wonder what the heck is going on?
Nature is pummeling the US this year with extremes. Unprecendented triple-digit heat and devastating drought. Deadly tornadoes and tornado outbreaks leveling towns. Massive rivers overflowing. A billion-dollar blizzard. And now, unusual hurricane-caused flooding in Vermont. And as if that wasn’t enough, the ground shook in places that normally seem stable: Colorado and the entire East Coast. On Friday, a strong quake triggered tsunami warnings in Alaska. Arizona and New Mexico have broken records for wildfires.
It appears that climate change and a strong La Nina have both played a major role in the weather extremes, with the year not over yet and hurricane season just beginning. And climate change may or may not be playing a role in La Nina. The Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project, which forecasts hurricane seasons each year, had predicted 2011 would be a busy year.
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