UPDATED: Extreme Weather Takes Over America
This week's weather forecast? Oh, you know: Just some heat waves in the East, flooding in the Midwest, and wildfires in the West.
UPDATE June 29, 2012: Nature’s fury continues to wreak havoc across the US. The Colorado Waldo Canyon wildfire—officially the worst ever in state history—is leaving a wasteland in its wake, according to the Colorado Springs mayor. (Read all about the Colorado fires in our explainer here.)
Meanwhile, it's hot as hell almost everywhere in the country, but historic torridity is creeping east. Sweltering temperatures have shattered Dust Bowl era records. At least two people may have died from excessive heat. Oh, and good luck breathing this weekend, Maryland. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Debby, which pelted northern Florida with more than 20 inches of wet despair, has claimed seven lives. Perhaps June is the cruelest month.
June 22, 2009: The Supreme Court's upcoming health-care ruling, Sandusky's trial by jury, and this 68-year-old, bullied bus monitor aside, the big news everyone seems to be talking about this week is WTF is up with our nation's weather?
In northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin, three days of torrential downpour forced nearly 300 people from their homes, drowned more than a dozen zoo animals, and caused $80 million in infrastructure damage. Fifteen large, uncontained fires are blazing in 10 states; in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, deadly conflagrations have scorched more than 400,000 acres of land. On the other side of the country, a giant heat wave is engulfing the Northeast and parts of the Great Plains.
The map below should give you some indication of the past week's crazy weather forecast. Click on the colored markers for more detailed information about record-breaking temperatures and precipitation and the status of current wildfire suppression efforts.
Sources: National Climate Data Center via Wunderground.com; USDA Forest Service Active Fire Mapping Program, June 22, 2012
Here are some photos from this week's weather weirdness.
What was the weather like in your part of town? Let us know in the comments.