The Heat Is Online

Extreme Weather Profile: January -- June, 2013

At the beginning of 2013, a severe deep freeze, the worst in more than 40 years,  killed more than 100 people in northern India  more . . .       In Brazil, the worst drought in 50 years crippled the country's hydropower production and killed up to 30 percent of some crops more. . .      In early January, an especially powerful winter storm blasted the Middle East, freezing out some 50,000 Syrian refugees, and causing havoc in Jordan, Egypt and the West Bank  more  . . .   In Australia, a blistering heat wave sent temperatures about 123* F,  melting roads, triggering wildfires and vaporizing gasoline  more . . .    In mid-January, Chicago broke a 72-year record when the city went 320 days without snow  more . . .    In southern California, temperatures plunged into the 20s, setting new records and threatening crops  more . . .  In mid-January, intense flooding paralyzed Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people  more . . .    At the same time, an unusual storm dropped a foot of snow in southern Virginia and stranded motorists overnight in their cars in Alabama more . . .   In late January, extensive flooding in Mozambique killed at leat 46 people and left some 150,000 others homeless more . . .    At the same time, massive flooding forced the evacuations of thousands of people in  the Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales  more . . .       

In early February, a massive blizzard struck the northeastern US, leaving 4 people dead and nearly 700,000 without power and forcing governors in five states to declare states of emergency. The storm dumped up to three feet of snow in parts of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts more . . .      In March, New Zealand's worst water shortage in 30 years triggered bans on water use and left farmers considering the slaughter of cattle to reduce water demand more . . .

In Argentina, the area around Buenos Aires was hit with what officials called a "tsunami" of rain, which forced the evacuations of thousands of people, left some homes under nearly five feet of water and left at least 54 people dead   more . . .     In mid-April, a massive storm system swept across the midwestern U.S. bringing record snow to North Dakota, dropping temperatures in Denver from 71* to 14* in one day and triggering the cancellation of 290 flights in Chicago  more . . .       

In May, 2013, the biggest tornado on record in the US, two miles wide with wind speeds up to 200 miles per hour, devastated the town of Moore, Oklahoma.  While it raised questions about whether it was a consequence of a warming atmosphere,  scientists said there is no way at this point to know whether there is a correlation between warming and tornado formation. "So far, there’s simply not enough information to say anything definitive about the future of tornadoes under climate change. But every thunderstorm, and every tornado, now takes place in a warmer, wetter atmosphere due to the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere," according to scientists at ClimateCentral.org.  One thing is clear, however.  The weather is getting bigger.   That same month, three people died and 130 others had to be rescued when more than 12 inches of rain inundated San Antonio, Texas in one day  more . . .        

In June, Germany, Austria, Poland, Switzerland and the Czech Republic were inundated with torrential rains which drove thousands of people from their homes and left at least six people dead  more . . .    In Pakistan, a scorching heat wave sent temperatures higher than at any time in the last six decades, with temperatures reaching as high as 124 F.  more . . .     That same month, Colorado struggled with the most destructive wildfire in the state's history, scorching more than 1,500 acres and destroying more than 400 homes more . . .           

In mid-June, weather extremes battered the globe.  In western Canada, some 100,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes because of extremely heavy flooding  more . . .    At the same time, tens of thousands of people were trapped in northern India by heavy monsoons and landslides which isolated about 100 towns and villages more . . .    In Alaska, after one of the coldest springs on record, temperatures soared into the low 90s setting new  high temperature marks more . . .   

In late June an epic wildfire in Colorado scorched more than 114 miles more . . .