Extreme Weather In U.S. This Spring Blamed On Climate Change
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Extreme weather that can cause power outages is not just occurring during hurricane season and the winter. Now a days the phenomenon occurs all year round.
The recent history of extreme weather is being blamed on climate change. Whatever the reason, power outages are occurring in just about all regions of the country due to the extreme weather.
This spring alone many regions of the country have experienced snow, tornadoes, heavy rain, flooding, and a spectacle referred to as a bomb cyclone.
In mid-March a freak occurrence known as a bomb cyclone occurred in a wide patch of the United States that included the Central and Northern Plains and the Upper Midwest.
The storm created hurricane-strength winds, blizzard conditions, and flooding. More than 70 million people were affected and more than 1,000 flights were canceled immediately before the storm.
Winter storm warnings were in effect in many states including parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The National Weather Service alerted residents in that portion of the country of heavy rains, severe thunderstorms, flooding, heavy snows, blizzard conditions and heavy winds through a two-day period.
A Bomb Cyclone occurs when the atmospheric pressure falls at an extreme rate during a quick period of time. For a Bomb Cyclone to occur the barometric pressure has to plummet by at least 24 milllibars during a 24-hour period. A millibar is a unit of measurement that meteorologists use to describe changes in force applied to the weight of the air. The standard surface pressure on Earth is 1013.2 millibars. The lower the pressure drops with a cyclone, the more intense the storm.
A storm picks more air and strengthens when the atmospheric pressure drops. When it falls as severe as 24 millibars in less than a day meteorologist refer to it as an explosion.
Later in March, historic flooding occurred resulting from melting snow, rain, and ice jams. Making conditions worse, more snow fell during the period and more rain storms struck into May. As many as 200 million people across 25 states were affected. Up to that point, the Mississippi River basin had received three times its normal amount of rainfall.
In addition, in March and April the land was saturated with water and more rain ran over it without being absorbed. This increased the flooding. Flooding of the Missouri and Red Rivers broke records.
In the middle of April a spring storm hit the Central U.S. that included extreme temperatures, heavy snow, blizzard conditions and high winds. It caused problems from the Rockies to the Midwest. Snow accumulation measured more than 18-inches in some areas. Winds exceeded more than 70-mph in some places. The Plains states experienced dust storms.
The storm delivered record temperatures resembling summer in the southern region and temperatures more common to midwinter in the north. The contrast of temperatures within a small distance was unusual.
Air pressure readings were near records at about 982 millibars over Kansas during one day of the storm. This signaled that the storm was unusually strong.
While the Plains and Midwest experienced snow, the southern plains and the mid-south were surviving high temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Texas endured temperatures in the 100s.
The same storm caused wind gusts of up to 50-mph in Minnesota and included thunder snowstorms.
Residents of South Dakota reported heavy snowstorms and thunder snowstorms.
The mayhem included thunderstorms and hail in Minneapolis.
Heavy snowfall of about 8 to 12-inches was reported in the central to northern Plains and upper Midwest.
Large amounts of snow blanketed a number of states including South Dakota, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Michigan, and Kansas.
Severe wind gusts of up to 70-mph hit New Mexico. The area of west Texas into the panhandle experienced of between 65-mph to 70-mph. In mountainous elevations, wind gusts of 107-mph buffeted Colorado.
The high winds caused dust storms in the southwest. Wind carried the dust to parts of Minnesota.
Climate change has expanded weird weather throughout the United States this spring, which has caused havoc. The result on many occasions has been massive power outages.
The April storm alone caused power outages in such states as Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri.
In North Iowa the Mason City Globe Gazette reported about 19,000 customers of Alliant were without power as a result of the storm.
More than 9,100 customers of Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. were in the dark.
Utility providers in the Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas regions claimed a major number of outages. Six hundred eighty six customers in Arkansas, 12,550 in Louisiana, and more than 6,000 in Texas experienced outage.
Winds caused as many as 30,000 customers of Ameren to be in the dark in St. Louis.
Storms in June caused outages in Michigan and Oklahoma.
It is apparent that whatever the season just about every region of the United States is vulnerable to a weather calamity that can plunge thousands of residents into darkness. And, with climate change causing stronger storms, more damage and outages can be expected as the result of storms from now on.
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