The unusually warm January weather, including some record-breaking temperatures, has wreaked havoc in the Midwest and Great Lakes region, even as it has brought pleasant, springlike warmth to the Northeast.
The Midwest experienced two days of tornadoes the first January twisters in 40 years for some states and eight deaths have been reported as a result. Many homes, too, were damaged, as tornadoes touched down in Missouri, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Illinois and Oklahoma, according to the Associated Press.
Tornadoes typically form, as do thunderstorms, during warm weather, when air masses collide. January thunderstorms and tornadoes are unusual. Scientists, last year, predicted that global warming will make tornadoes and thunderstorms more common in the United States.
In the Great Lakes region, particularly in Indiana, the unusual warmth coupled with heavy rain led to deadly flooding. Two have been reported dead, according to the AP. Flooding, too, is predicted to increase with global warming because storm systems will be warmer, allowing them to hold more moisture, and more energetic.
No storm or weather event is proof of global warming, nor can it be said to have been caused by global warming. But these types of storms are expected to become more frequent due to global warming, making the deaths in the heartland a harbinger of things to come if more isn't done to slow climate change.
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