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Weather hazards are natural phenomena in the weather. We have always had hurricanes, droughts and fires, floods and high winds. However, we are currently witnessing a scale of disaster and destruction that is new and terrifying. In the last year alone, there have been a series of catastrophic weather catastrophes in various parts of the world, including Hurricane Ida, deadly heat waves in India, Pakistan, and Europe, and floods in Southeast Asia. From Mozambique to Bangladesh, millions of people have already lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones as a result of more dangerous and frequent extreme weather events.
Here is the list of the most famous events and their frequency of occurrence
Frost-free season (and growing season) will lengthen
The length of the frost-free season (and corresponding growing season) has been increasing nationally since the 1980s, with the largest increases in the western United States, affecting ecosystems and agriculture. In the United States, the growing season is expected to continue to lengthen.
In a future in which heat-trapping emissions continue to rise, increases of a month or more are forecast during frost-free growing and growing seasons in most of the United States by the end of the century, with slightly smaller increases in the Northern Great Plains. The largest increases in the frost-free period (greater than eight weeks) are forecast for the western US, especially at high altitudes and in coastal areas. The increases will be significantly smaller if emissions of heat-trapping gases are reduced.
Changes in precipitation patterns
Average precipitation in the US has increased since 1900, but some areas had increases above the national average and some areas had decreases. More winter and spring rains are forecast for the northern United States and less for the southwestern United States during this century. Forecasts for the future in the US suggest that the recent trend of increased precipitation will continue. This trend is forecast to occur even in areas where total precipitation is expected to decrease, such as the Southwest.
More droughts and heat waves
Drought in the Southwest and heat waves (periods of unusually hot weather lasting days or weeks) everywhere are forecast to become more intense and cold waves less intense everywhere. Summer temperatures are expected to continue to rise and a drop in soil moisture, exacerbating heat waves, is forecast across much of the western and central US in the summer. By the end of this century, once-in-20-year extreme heat days (one-day events) are projected to occur every two to three years in most of the country.
Sea level will rise 1 to 8 feet by 2100
Global sea level has risen about 8 inches since reliable record keeping began in 1880. It is projected to rise another 1 to 8 feet by 2100. This is the result of water added by melting land ice and expanding sea ice. seawater as it warms. In the coming decades, storm surges and high tides could combine with sea level rise and land subsidence to further increase flooding in many regions. Sea level rise will continue after 2100 because the oceans take a long time to respond to warmer conditions at the Earth’s surface. Therefore, the waters of the oceans will continue to warm and the sea level will continue to rise for many centuries at a rate equal to or greater than that of the current century.
First study of its kind
The analysis of extreme weather events in India between 1970 and 2019 in the CEEW study is based on verified government data from agencies such as the Ministry of Agriculture, National Disaster Management Authority, India Meteorological Department, Press Information Office and the World Meteorological Organization and the World Health Organization. While droughts were divided according to the Center’s classification into meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural droughts, floods were classified as fluvial, coastal, emergency, urban, and complex.
The area effect
The above discussion applies to a specific point or location. If a larger area (for example, an entire city or town) is considered, the probability of receiving a heavy rain event (for example, a 1% AEP event) somewhere above the larger area increases. In practice, the most intense part of a storm, or cold front, is a small area where precipitation values are about the same. One-hour values taken at locations about 5 km apart would be almost completely independent of each other for some storms, but partly related for others. For example, a grid of about 100 such points could be constructed in the Melbourne metropolitan area.
The AEP value of 1 hour, 1% (100 years ARI) has a 1% chance of occurring at any of these points in any given year, meaning there is a good chance (63% assuming full point independence) for an hour, 1% AEP event (100-year ARI) that occurs somewhere in the general Melbourne area each calendar year. (This is an approach only because the hypothesis of independence – zero correlation between – points varies both in the duration of the rain in question and in the type of rain meteorological mechanisms that may operate in the area.)
tropical storm elsa
Tropical Storm Elsa made landfall in Taylor County, Florida, causing heavy rains, winds, flooding, and tornadoes in Florida, Georgia, and Carolina, as well as flooding in the Northeast. Southern New England and Long Island, New York were affected by flash flooding, leading to impassable roads, trapped vehicles, and riots. Elsa was the first Storm with the fifth name to be recorded.
winter storm and cold snap
The historic cold snap and winter storm affect many states in the Northwest, Central and East. Temperature deviations of more than 40.0 degrees F (22.2 degrees Celsius) below normal were recorded from Nebraska south to Texas. Prolonged arctic winds have caused widespread power outages in Texas, as well as other southern states, with many days of prolonged sub-zero temperatures. At the height of the blackout, nearly 10 million people were without power. Additional effects were frozen water pipes, which broke during the thaw and caused water damage to buildings.
These extreme conditions have also caused or contributed to the direct and indirect deaths of more than 210 people in Texas alone. This number does not include excess mortality which may be hundreds of additional deaths. There have also been effects of snow and ice in many states, including Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. This is now the costliest winter storm on record in the United States, more than double the inflation-adjusted cost of the “Storm of the Century” in March 1993.
Flooding and severe weather
California was hit by an atmospheric river in late January, during which more than 7 inches of rain fell from southern California to the central California coast. Total rainfall exceeded 15 inches in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties. These heavy rains triggered flooding and mudslides in some of the same areas that were burned by fires in late 2020. This combination triggered dozens of landslides and debris flows that caused damage to homes, vehicles, businesses, and infrastructure. Highway 1 south of Big Sur was washed away, while the Sierra Nevada mountain range was covered in snow for many feet, closing major highways. In addition to heavy rain and snow, strong winds also caused extensive power outages in parts of the region.
Hurricane Zeta was a Category 2 hurricane that made landfall in Cocodrie, Louisiana, peaking at 110 mph on October 28. Zeta’s inner wake experienced an acceleration from the fast landing speed to almost 40 mph, allowing the wind fields to conserve some energy. These wind gusts spread inland, affecting parts of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, North Georgia, and Carolina. Hurricane Zeta was the fifth tropical cyclone to hit Louisiana in 2020 as part of a historically active Atlantic hurricane season.
The Category 1 hurricane makes its way to the outer shores of North Carolina after destroying the northern Bahamas as a historically strong, slow-moving hurricane. Dorian traversed coastal shorelines along the coasts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina before reaching North Carolina, bringing a catastrophic sound wave that flooded many coastal properties and cut off residents who did not leave. Significant flooding, severe thunderstorms, and tornado damage were reported to many homes and businesses in coastal North Carolina. Dorian’s intensification into a Category 5 storm marks the fourth year in a row that a maximum Category 5 storm has developed in the Atlantic basin, a new record. Dorian also tied the record for longest sustained wind speed for a hurricane making landfall (185 mph) in the Atlantic, a record shared with the historic 1935 Labor Day hurricane.
River and North Central flooding
Historic flooding in the Midwest inundated millions of acres of agriculture, many cities and towns, and caused extensive damage to roads, bridges, embankments, and dams. The most affected states were Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan. This flooding was triggered by a severe storm with heavy rains that intensified snow melt and flooding. It is worth noting that Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska also suffered severe flooding – the third US military base to suffer damage from a $1 billion disaster over a six-month period (September 2018- February 2019). This historic flood was one of the costliest inland flood events in the United States.
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