North American weather has been lurching from one extreme to the next in a pattern that is consistent with global warming, reports Andrew Freedman at Climate Central. Climate studies have warned us to expect more frequent and intense extreme events, such as heavy rain and snow storms, along with heat waves. While weather variability is nothing new, the wild swings in weather, termed “weather whiplash“, that have recently occurred across the Midwest and South Central states during the past few years, from record flood to record drought and back to record flood, may be an example of what’s in store as global warming continues to alter the atmosphere. After a record drought, for example, Chicago just clocked its wettest April. The Mississippi has gone from recent record lows to flood levels. With climate change, the atmosphere is now carrying more moisture, as air and oceans warm. The jet stream, altered by a warming Arctic, steered storms away and towards the US, creating floods and droughts. Climate studies predict precipitation extremes will become more frequent and severe, which they already have. Expect even worse, with continuing climate change.
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Climate desk: The Drought-Stricken Midwest’s Floods: Is This What Climate Change Looks Like? See also Drought eases in many places, fields turn to mud. As spring rains soaked the central United States and helped conquer the historic drought, a new problem has sprouted: The fields have turned to mud. Associated Press
Wild weather swings may be a sign of climate change. For a political candidate, being labeled a “flip-flopper” can be a career killer. Increasingly, though, the label also applies to North American weather, which has been lurching from one extreme to the next in a pattern that is consistent with global warming. Climate Central