The United States is Earth’s punching bag for nasty weather.
Blame geography for the U.S. getting hit by stronger, costlier, more varied and frequent extreme weather than anywhere on the planet, several experts said. Two oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, jutting peninsulas like Florida, clashing storm fronts and the jet stream combine to naturally brew the nastiest of weather.
That’s only part of it. Nature dealt the United States a bad hand, but people have made it much worse by what, where and how we build, several experts told The Associated Press.
Then add climate change, and “buckle up. More extreme events are expected,” said Rick Spinrad, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Tornadoes. Hurricanes. Flash floods. Droughts. Wildfires. Blizzards. Ice storms. Nor’easters. Lake-effect snow. Heat waves. Severe thunderstorms. Hail. Lightning. Atmospheric rivers. Derechos. Dust storms. Monsoons. Bomb cyclones. And the dreaded polar vortex.