The summer of natural disasters

Unfortunately, the sweltering summer of 2022 will be one that many won’t forget, for disastrous reasons. Climate change amped up the weather conditions in the past few months, leading to a series of unpredictable and unprecedented weather events with catastrophic and even fatal endings. Here are the record-breaking summer weather events of 2022 impacting people around the globe: 

Floods 

  • After months of heavy monsoon rain and flooding, satellite images of Pakistan revealed a third of the country below water. The natural disaster began in mid-June and has claimed over 1,000 lives, with the government reporting $10 billion in damage.
  • Earlier this week, storms caused the Pearl River’s overflow, leading to flooding in Jackson, Mississippi. The crisis has left the city with a lack of drinkable water, exacerbating the already dire condition for the state’s capital since it has been under a boil-water notice since late July.
  • In June, a historic 500-year flood ravaged rural parts of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, including the communities around Yellowstone National Park, triggering rockfalls and mudslides, forcing the park to close for the first time in 30 years. 

Heat wave and drought

  • This summer, many became familiar with the term “heat dome,” a persistent region of high pressure that traps heat over an area, leading to a catastrophic heat wave. The heat dome devastated the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe with record-shattering triple-digit temperatures that led to droughts and wildfires.  
  • In China, a monthslong heat wave and subsequent drought dried up parts of the Yangtze River, the largest river in Asia. The country recently used seeding clouds to create rainfall to help replenish the Yangtze.

Wildfires

  • This week, the Western U.S. is bracing for a historic heat wave, with expected power outages for regions ill-equipped for extremely hot weather. In California, an ongoing drought has already put the state on edge as wildfires begin to spark, with the Route Fire forcing the closure of the I-5. 
  • The Rum Creek Fire in remote Oregon continued to spread this week, forcing hundreds in the southern part of the state to evacuate as the fire spread to 15,000 acres. 

Hurricanes and tornados

  • The most powerful tropical cyclone recorded in 2022,  Typhoon Hinnamnor, is expected to cause devastating flooding and damage to the southern islands of Japan and parts of South Korea with wind gusts to 185 mph. 
  • Last weekend, five tornadoes, measuring up to 85 mph, touched down in Minneapolis, uprooting trees that crashed into buildings, causing severe destruction.
  • In August, there were no recorded hurricanes in the U.S., but meteorologists still expect an above-average hurricane season that stretches to November.

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