Extreme Weather Events

This page will attempt to track extreme weather events. Climate change models predict that as the globe warms the incidence of extreme weather events will increase. Drought and moisture centered events such as floods and winter storms are the specific type of events which may occur. While individual weather events may or may not be related to climate change related to human activity, this page will attempt to list extreme weather events.


May 20, 2013: EF-5 tornado at Moore, Oklahoma. Moore Tornado an EF-5; $2 Billion Damage Estimate: 3rd Costliest Tornado in History

Drought and the Mississippi
While the U.S. 2012 drought an not be 100% tied to climate change, drought is one element predicted by climate change models. And the disappearing Mississippi river may be more a result of non-climate change related naturally occurring climate fluctuations than the result of climate change related drought, it is nonetheless of interest to follow events on the Big Muddy.

The Christian Science ran an article in December, 2012 relating the Corp of Engineers efforts to increase water flow and assist navigation, issues involving allowing water from a reservoir system connected to the Missouri River into the Mississippi, monetary damages to the barge industry as well as other aspects.

Tom Ashbrook had an hour program on the drought and climate change. A nicely balanced sober program that brings to light various aspects of the drought, the river system, and climate change.

Reuters too, among certainly many other sources. brings to light many aspects of the situation on the Mississippi in its report of Jan. 8, 2013

Australia ravaged by fires.
The Australian Climate Commission said in a report “”Climate change is increasing the risk of more frequent and longer heatwaves and more extreme hot days, as well as exacerbating bushfire conditions.”

By Wednesday Jan. 9, Cooler weather brings relief to fire-ravaged Australia but temperatures are expected to increase again towards the end of the week.

“On Tuesday four areas had been given a “catastrophic” fire danger rating, meaning that if fires broke out they would be uncontrollable and fast-moving, so residents should leave.”


“Temperatures have been so high the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has increased its temperature scale to 54 degrees, and added a new colour code.
The fires follow days of searing heat. The national average maximum daily temperature exceeded 39°C from 2-8 January, breaking a previous record of four consecutive days of such heat.”

From Get used to record-breaking heat: bureau

“Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology doesn’t pull punches on what is driving this astounding heat:
‘‘The current heatwave – in terms of its duration, its intensity and its extent – is now unprecedented in our records,’’ the Bureau of Meteorology’s manager of climate monitoring and prediction, David Jones, said.
‘‘Clearly, the climate system is responding to the background warming trend. Everything that happens in the climate system now is taking place on a planet which is a degree hotter than it used to be.’’
As the warming trend increases over coming years, record-breaking heat will become more and more common, Dr Jones said.
‘‘We know that global climate doesn’t respond monotonically – it does go up and down with natural variation. That’s why some years are hotter than others because of a range of factors. But we’re getting many more hot records than we’re getting cold records. That’s not an issue that is explained away by natural variation.’’”



2012 was the hottest year on record in the continental U.S. and the 15th driest.

See Jeff Masters:
2012: warmest and 2nd most extreme year in U.S. history, at weatherunderground.com.

For an overview of significant weather and climate events in 2012, see
State of the Climate National Overview Annual 2012 at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climatic Data Center

Jan. 2011 
Australian floods – coal-rich Queensland which is two-thirds covered in flood water and 25 dead, and northwest Victoria where 3000 were evacuated.

51 dead, 20 missing in days of continuous rains

Brazil floods: Worst single-day natural disaster in its history

Thousands displaced by Sri Lanka floods to get UN help

The unusually strong La Nina pattern is in part responsible for the flooding in Australia and possibly in Sri Lanka and Brazil. The connection between the strengths of the El Nino and La Nina weather patterns and climate change is not clear. What is known is that global warming results in more moisture in the atmosphere which in turn can affect weather patterns.

Feb. 2, 2011
Cyclone Yasi and Great Blizzard of 2011
The 2011 Mississippi River floods

The 2011 spring tornadoes, which decimated Tuscaloosa and Joplin.

Spring, 2011Jeff Masters on extreme weather in the U.S. during the spring of 2011


Pakistan floods
Russia drought and fires