5 (Awful) Reasons to Talk About the Weather

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In case you haven’t noticed, there have been quite a number of natural disasters lately. Chalk it up to global warming, to an extremely unfortunate series of coincidences, or to the vengeance of a wrathful god for whom we all must sacrifice our fattest ewe, but whatever the reason, the natural world has been coming at us with both barrels blazing over the past year. In case you don’t spend much time either outside and/or watching the news, here are some of the recent events that have left us terrified of nature.

5 Like Hell. Actually.

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So far this year, the state of California alone has already seen 1,570 wild fires. And it is not even halfway through the year, and still far from the start of what was traditionally called “Fire Season.” The statistic is staggering if you wrap your mind around it: this figure represents an 85% increase in wildfire outbreaks. If you’re wondering why it has been such a bad year, refer to that whole “drought” thing we talked about earlier. And if you live in CA, start clearing dead brush from your property, ey?
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4 If it’s Not a Drought…

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hile much of the globe has recently been stricken with horrible droughts, leaving crops and livestock wilting and dying, respectively, the American Midwest was inundated with crippling floods earlier this year. Rivers ranging from the mighty Mississippi to the Illinois River and beyond were swollen by heavy rains and melting snow from late season storms, ultimately forcing thousands of residents into temporary evacuations, destroying thousands of homes permanently, and damaging roads, bridges, boats, and more.
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3 Dry as a Bone

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Right now, much of the country (not to mention the world, of course) is experiencing a “D4 Drought.” That is rated as an “exceptional drought” by the U.S. Drought Monitor. And more than half of the continental US is experiencing at least drier than average conditions. Most of 2012 was the same as this year promises to be: record setting, but not in a good way.
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2 The “Super” is Pejorative

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Super Storm Sandy, the hurricane that rocked the eastern seaboard of America late last year, is now being called the second most expensive hurricane in American history, right after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Sandy was also one of the deadliest storms ever, with more than 70 deaths reported as a direct result of the hurricane. Victims perished all the way from Maryland to New England, and the effects of the storm were felt as far inland as Wisconsin.
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1 Terrible Tornadoes

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The twister that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma a few days ago has been classified as an EF5 tornado, the very strongest classification type we have. Winds whipped around at more than two hundred miles an hour, and for a while the cyclone was well over a mile in diameter! And, tragically, it claimed plural lives, many of them children. The storm that struck Moore was stunning in its scale, but was only one of a several tornado events from the past weeks.
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Steven John is a published novelist and competitive pole vault champion. (The latter is not true.) His writing runs the gamut from speculative fiction to essays fueled by a mix of mirth and derision. He has never been to Lisbon but, statistically speaking, is probably taller than you.

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