According to Victor Gensini, a meteorology professor at Northern Illinois University, the reason why the US leads the world in weather catastrophes is due to the Gulf of Mexico and the elevated terrain to the west.
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The United States is Earth’s punching bag for nasty weather.
Blame geography for the U.S. getting hit by stronger, costlier, more varied and frequent extreme weather than anywhere on the planet, several experts said. Two oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, jutting peninsulas like Florida, clashing storm fronts and the jet stream combine to naturally brew the nastiest of weather.
That’s only part of it. Nature dealt the United States a bad hand, but people have made it much worse by what, where and how we build, several experts told The Associated Press.
Then add climate change, and “buckle up. More extreme events are expected,” said Rick Spinrad, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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Tornadoes. Hurricanes. Flash floods. Droughts. Wildfires. Blizzards. Ice storms. Nor’easters. Lake-effect snow. Heat waves. Severe thunderstorms. Hail. Lightning. Atmospheric rivers. Derechos. Dust storms. Monsoons. Bomb cyclones. And the dreaded polar vortex.
It starts with “where we are on the globe,” North Carolina state climatologist Kathie Dello said. “It’s truly a little bit … unlucky.”
China may have more people, and a large land area like the United States, but “they don’t have the same kind of clash of air masses as much as you do in the U.S. that is producing a lot of the severe weather,” said Susan Cutter, director of the Hazards Vulnerability and Resilience Institute at the University of South Carolina.
The U.S. is by far the king of tornadoes and other severe storms.
“It really starts with kind of two things. Number one is the Gulf of Mexico. And number two is elevated terrain to the west,” said Victor Gensini, a Northern Illinois University meteorology professor.
A report published by Switzerland’s IQAir has revealed that India is home to 39 of the world’s 50 most polluted cities.
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