Federal government weather forecasters logged preliminary reports of more than 500 tornadoes in a 30-day period — a rare figure, if the reports are ultimately verified — after the start of the year proved mercifully quiet.
“From mid-April on, it’s just been on a tear,” said Patrick Marsh, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. “What has really set us apart has been the last 10 days or so. The last 10 days took us from about normal to well above normal.”
Forecasters said that even the briefest of reprieves might not come until late this week, and another round of severe weather erupted on Tuesday afternoon.Being American, officials are reluctant to tie this extreme weather to climate change, not without a signed confession.
The good news.
Most of America that has been hammered by droughts for the past decade or two are now drought-free. A notable exception is southeast Alaska that is now in severe drought conditions. That's bound to be good for the permafrost, eh?
The bad news.
Many of the areas now drought free are now flooded. That includes a lot of America's prime agricultural land. Hard hit states include Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Canadian farmers who have been spared the severe weather to the south are expecting great prices for their crops this year. What's that line about the cure being worse than the disease?
This reminds me of a report several years ago of a pastoralist, a herder, from the sub-Saharan Sahel. One year he lost half his herd to flash floods. Severe heat and drought claimed the surviving animals the following year. The herder and his family were forced to abandon their ancient herding lifestyle and head for the city to eke out a bare subsistence living.