What’s been going on with our crazy winter weather here and globally
Tom Skilling, Chief Meteorologist, WGN-TV and Radio and the Chicago Tribune
Chicagoans know all too well just how unusual the weather’s been. The just completed December through February meteorological winter season finished 3rd coldest and 3rd snowiest on record here. The past winter finished coldest on the books in Marquette, Michigan, while Las Vegas, NV and Tucson, AZ recorded their warmest winter while meteorological winter 2013-14 finished third warmest in Miami, Florida. A drought of record proportions is underway in California threatening water supplies there and a potentially horrific wildfire season while avalanches in Alaska due to mild winter weather have ranked among the largest recorded and arctic sea ice in February dropped to its 4th lowest of the satellite record while temps there have averaged 7 to 14-degrees above normal. Illinois recorded its first November EF4 (166-200 mph) tornadoes late last fall while in Europe, winter temps were so mild, bears came out of hibernation in Scandanavia while storm after vicious storm has sweep the UK with hurricane force gusts and 50 ft waves plus rainfall that’s the heaviest recorded in the island nation in 248 years. The Thames River has been flooding with water levels running at 60 year highs. And the strongest tropical cyclone ever to landfall in the world–Super Typhoon Haiyan– devastated the Philippines in November with near 200 mph sustained winds and a devastating 20 ft. storm surge. We’ll look at how such extremes have been occurring.