Powerful storms swept the midwest last night, and more are expected as an unseasonal cold front crosses the region, colliding with equally unseasonal warm air that has been pouring up across the region from the Gulf of Mexico. The National Weather Service reported ‘hundreds’ of tornadoes across the region yesterday, and more are expected today. The areas of highest alert are Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, but there are at least ten states and three major cities at risk for further strong storms. The cities most at risk are Chicago, St. Louis and Houston.
The midwestern United States continues to suffer violent weather due to a powerful flow of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico that is colliding with cooler air from the north over the region. Since last winter, the region has suffered wave after wave of violent weather, with more tornadoes recorded so far in 2008 than at any similar period in the past hundred years. At present, large areas of the region are suffering from flooding, and more bad weather is predicted for Indiana, Kansas and Oklahoma this week.
Ten people were killed as tornadoes swarmed across themidwest, while wildfires racing across the Texas panhandlekilled seven. The same weather system that drove the winds that spread the fires in Texas generated the tornados farther north. Springfield, Illinois was especially hard hit, withstraight-line winds gusting in excess of a hundred miles anhour. Virtually every building in the city suffered somesort of damage. Mayor Tim Davlin described the destructionas “unreal.” These storms, like Katrina, are consistent withglobal warming models, which predict unusual weatherviolence.
A season of increasingly bizarre and violent weather has continued with devastating tornadoes in the United States on May 4-5, with the storm system rebuilding on May 6. These storms have devastated communities in Kansas, Missouri, Georgia and Tennessee, and have taken 38 lives.
This is not the first episode of unusual and extremely violent weather to strike in recent months. There have been so many incidents in the past six months, that it begins to appear that we are entering a period of violent and changing climate.The combination of reduced oceanic circulation, high levels of solar activity, and more and more heat being retained in the lower atmosphere, is causing this change.