Global Weirding in my Backyard
Spring is definitely sprung, but for many of us, that statement barely elicits a yawn this April. Here in North Carolina – and the Southeast region is certainly not alone – we’ve experienced spring-like temperatures for months. On a personal level, it has been strange to bring out the flip flops in February, watch tulips and roses bloom simultaneously in March and already dread the weekly lawn mow now that it is April.
All those activities pale in comparison to the wild temperature swings and extreme weather events occurring at alarming rates across the U.S. Last year alone, the country suffered 14 extreme weather events, each causing losses of at least $1 billion. The March 2nd tornado outbreak was the biggest we’ve seen in years with 132 tornadoes reported, leaving least 39 people dead. In fact, there were a total of 154 tornadoes from January through March of 2011. According to senior meteorologist and long-range forecaster Jack Boston at AccuWeather.com, more active weather is anticipated with another peak season of severe weather anticipated later this spring. “Severe weather will get more active by the middle of April,” he reports. “The pattern will get more progressive,” meaning more storms will cross the country.
Like me, forecasters, climatologists, and citizens around the world are marveling–and fearing – what’s to come. Europe just stepped out of a deep freeze, Fiji is underwater from a recent tropical storm, and East Africa has still yet to recover from a drought last year that is responsible for 30,000 deaths. We are not alone in thinking about the connection between climate change and our everyday weather. Don’t forget to check out some of the related resources below.
350.org is hosting a world-wide Climate Impacts Day on 5/5/2012 to protest, educate, document and volunteer with people around the world to support the communities on the front lines of climate change. I challenge you to take a minute to learn more about this day of action and get involved personally or through your own organization! See this week’s action alert for more information.
Kellyn Garrison, Southeast Regional Coordinator, US Climate Action Network.