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In 2019, several disasters affected the planet, from historical cities experiencing record flood levels to earthquakes and hurricanes leaving countless people without shelter.
Starting the year with a Hit Midwest & Northeast US
Extreme cold in the Midwest broke numerous daily records and a few all-time records.
For some in the upper Midwest, it was the coldest outbreak since the 1990s.
In Natchez, Mississippi, the river has been flooded since mid-February and was in flood stage for most of the year. Dating back to late February, about 550,000 acres of land have been underwater in the rural Yazoo backwater area of the lower Mississippi delta. About half of the acreage is farmland, creating devastating effects in a region where agriculture is the lifeblood of the economy. While flooding in the region is common, this year’s floodwater has hung around longer than ever. Communities Still battling red tape over infrastructure, are now trying to rebuild however I fear what this coming spring will bring.
A tornado outbreak on March 3, was a significant severe weather event that affected the Southeastern United States. Over the course of 6 hours, a total of 41 tornadoes touched down across portions of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. The strongest of these was an EF4 tornado that devastated rural communities from Beauregard, Alabama through Smiths Station, Alabama to Talbotton, Georgia, killing 23 people and injuring at least 100 others. Its death toll represented more than twice the number of tornado deaths in the United States in 2018
A central pressure reading of 970.4 millibars in Lamar on made it the lowest sea level pressure reading ever recorded in the state bringing Colorado a low in mid-March that became a blizzard that paralyzed travel in parts of the Plains, setting new low-pressure records,
producing damaging winds, triggering record flooding and severe weather.
We Saw Heavy Rains & Flooding In The Midwest
In Nebraska, along the Missouri River. Areas closed off by the US Coast Guard extended 70 miles, from 50 miles south of Omaha, Nebraska, to St. Joseph Missouri
The weather system affecting the Midwest from March 12-14, 2019 produced a mixture of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes which was related to Winter Storm Ulmer.Heavy rains mixed with melting snowpack were enough to flood roads, damage buildings, and cause towns along the rising Missouri river to make preparations to shut down power plants, including the Cooper Nuclear Plant. In addition, the floodwaters have saturated fields, compromised a levee – forcing 1,200 people to evacuate – and triggered a flash flood emergency when part of the Union Dike in Valley, Nebraska failed on March 15, 2019. A farmer who was carried away on his tractor by the floodwaters lost his life while trying to rescue a stranded motorist.
Also in March we saw Intense Tropical Cyclone Idai which was one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere. The long-lived storm caused catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, leaving more than 1,300 people dead and many more missing. Idai is the deadliest tropical cyclone recorded in the South-West Indian Ocean basin. In the Southern Hemisphere, which includes the Australian, South Pacific, and South Atlantic basins, Idai ranks as the second-deadliest tropical cyclone on record. The only system with a higher death toll is the 1973 Flores cyclone that killed 1,650 off the coast of Indonesia
By late April, drought covered only 2% of the area of the Lower 48 states, This was the least area of drought in the 19-year history of the weekly Drought Monitor analysis.In mid-July, when searing heat is usually baking parched ground, the only significant areas of drought in the U.S. were in the Pacific Northwest and southeast Alaska, areas you typically think of as wet, not dry. It was one of the weirdest mid-summer drought maps we’ve seen. The first 11 months of 2019 was the wettest January-November period on record in the U.S., contributing to persistent flooding in the nation’s heartland.
Another tornado outbreak sequence started in May 2019
We saw a prolonged series of destructive tornadoes and tornado outbreaks affecting the United States over the course of nearly two weeks, producing at least 301 tornadoes, including 50 significant events (EF2+). Eighteen of these were EF3 tornadoes, spanning over multiple states, including Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Indiana, Iowa, and Ohio, with additional tornadoes confirmed across a region extending from California to New Jersey. Two EF4 tornadoes occurred, one in Dayton, Ohio, and the other in Linwood, Kansas.
In May, Historic flooding impacted the Arkansas River Basin with damage to homes, agriculture, roads, bridges and levees focused across Oklahoma & Arkansas. Homes, cars and businesses were flooded due to high rivers, levee failure and persistently heavy rainfall from May 20 through mid-July. A week of heavy rains have saturated the ground, especially in areas along the Arkansas River. Part of the larger severe weather system was partially the result of an amplified jet stream that promised a particularly hard tornado season in an area already devastated. The final account of damages is compounded by tornadoes descending on the area. Property and homes along the Arkansas river prepared for record-breaking levels that overwhelmed the levees, that caused even more damage. Highways were submerged and an untold number of homes have been lost.
China experienced a deadly tropical typhoon in August that killed 72 people.
Lekima swept through several provinces, causing severe floods and major damage to roads and bridges. Many people went missing and a natural dam collapsed. Lekima prompted the Chinese government to issue a “red typhoon alert,” the highest alert that Beijing issues for such natural disasters.
August 24, 2019 and
September 10, 2019
Category 1 Hurricane Dorian makes landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, after devastating the northern Bahama Islands as a historically-powerful and slow-moving hurricane.Months after Hurricane Dorian, Abaco Islands still completely devastated
Almost four months after Hurricane Dorian flattened and flooded Great Abaco Island, the devastation looks much as it did when the storm swept through. The official death toll stands at 70, but officials have said that more than 600 undocumented residents may have drowned and been washed out to sea. Dorian pummeled the islands with sustained winds of 185 mph, storm surges and torrential rain in a sustained two-day assault. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), 60% of the structured on both islands were severely compromised or completely damaged.
Tropical Storm Imelda and its remnants caused 24 to 36 inches of rainfall over a 3-day period across a large area between Houston and Beaumont, Texas on September 17, 2019 thru September 21, 2019. It became the 7th wettest tropical cyclone on record for the U.S. Some of the biggest impacts happened in areas recently devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
The Historic ‘winter’ storm in Browning, Montana gifted children with a rare September snow day After a historically early winter storm pounded parts of the West
dumped four feet of snow on the town in the heart of the Blackfeet Reservation. Barely a week after the end of summer, snow swept across parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Nevada and Utah. The National Weather Service said temperatures in some areas were dropping as much as 30 degrees below normal.
A combination of factors contributed to the wintry blast . “A storm from the Pacific Ocean, a fresh injection of cold air from northern Canada, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and a northeast-ascending flow that squeezed extra moisture from the atmosphere produced the amazing snowfall
Montana got the worst of it, and Gov. Steve Bullock declared a winter storm emergency. Great Falls, which normally sees less than 2 inches of snow in September, was blasted with a two-day snow total of 19.3 inches – the second-highest two-day snow total ever for any time of year.
In October Typhoon Hagibis killed at least 86 people in Japan. Several parts of the country were put under the most severe weather warning when Hagibis made landfall. Hundreds of thousands of people were placed under an evacuation order while millions more were strongly advised to evacuate.