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Nature and flora

Early 2014 North American cold wave

The 2014 North American cold wave was an extreme weather event that extended through the late winter months of the 2013–2014 winter season, and was also part of an unusually cold winter affecting parts of Canada and parts of the north-central and upper eastern United States. The event occurred in early 2014 and was caused by a southward shift of the North Polar Vortex. Record-low temperatures also extended well into March.

Nature and flora

Tropical Storm Marco (1990)

Tropical Storm Marco was the only tropical cyclone to make landfall on the United States during the 1990 Atlantic hurricane season. The 13th named storm of the season, Marco formed from a cold-core low pressure area along the northern coast of Cuba on October 9, and tracked northwestward through the eastern Gulf of Mexico. With most of its circulation over the western portion of Florida, Tropical Storm Marco produced 65 mph (100 km/h) winds over land. However, it weakened to a tropical depression before moving ashore near Cedar Key. The cyclone combined with a cold front and the remnants of Hurricane Klaus to produce heavy rainfall in Georgia and the Carolinas. After interacting with the nearby Hurricane Lili, Marco continued northward until being absorbed by a cold front on October 13.

Nature and flora

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was an extremely destructive and deadly Category 5 hurricane that struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in August 2005, causing catastrophic damage from central Florida to eastern Texas. Subsequent flooding, caused largely as a result of fatal engineering flaws in the flood protection system around the city of New Orleans, precipitated most of the loss of lives. The storm was the third major hurricane of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the third most intense tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in the United States, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille in 1969.

Nature and flora

Lightning

Lightning is a sudden electrostatic discharge that occurs typically during a thunderstorm. This discharge occurs between electrically charged regions of a cloud, between two clouds, or between a cloud and the ground.

Nature and flora

Snow

Snow refers to forms of ice crystals that precipitate from the atmosphere and undergo changes on the Earth's surface. It pertains to frozen crystalline water throughout its life cycle, starting when, under suitable conditions, the ice crystals form in the atmosphere, increase to millimeter size, precipitate and accumulate on surfaces, then metamorphose in place, and ultimately melt, slide or sublimate away. Snowstorms organize and develop by feeding on sources of atmospheric moisture and cold air. Snowflakes nucleate around particles in the atmosphere by attracting supercooled water droplets, which freeze in hexagonal-shaped crystals. Snowflakes take on a variety of shapes, basic among these are platelets, needles, columns and rime. As snow accumulates into a snowpack, it may blow into drifts. Over time, accumulated snow metamorphoses, by sintering, sublimation and freeze-thaw. Where the climate is cold enough for year-to-year accumulation, a glacier may form. Otherwise, snow typically melts seasonally, causing runoff into streams and rivers and recharging groundwater.

Nature and flora

Rain

Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then becomes heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth. It provides suitable conditions for many types of ecosystems, as well as water for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation.

Nature and flora

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma was an extremely powerful and catastrophic Cape Verde hurricane, the strongest observed in the Atlantic in terms of maximum sustained winds since Wilma, and the strongest storm on record to exist in the open Atlantic region. Irma was the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the Leeward Islands on record, followed by Hurricane Maria two weeks later, and is the second-costliest Caribbean hurricane on record, after Maria. The ninth named storm, fourth hurricane, second major hurricane, and first Category 5 hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Irma caused widespread and catastrophic damage throughout its long lifetime, particularly in the northeastern Caribbean and the Florida Keys. It was also the most intense hurricane to strike the continental United States since Katrina in 2005, the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in the same year, and the first Category 4 hurricane to strike the state since Charley in 2004.

Nature and flora

Low-pressure area

A low-pressure area, low, or depression, is a region on the topographic map where the atmospheric pressure is lower than that of surrounding locations. Low-pressure systems form under areas of wind divergence that occur in the upper levels of the troposphere. The formation process of a low-pressure area is known as cyclogenesis. Within the field of meteorology, atmospheric divergence aloft occurs in two areas. The first area is on the east side of upper troughs, which form half of a Rossby wave within the Westerlies. A second area of wind divergence aloft occurs ahead of embedded shortwave troughs, which are of smaller wavelength. Diverging winds aloft ahead of these troughs cause atmospheric lift within the troposphere below, which lowers surface pressures as upward motion partially counteracts the force of gravity.

Nature and flora

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey of 2017 is tied with 2005's Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropical cyclone on record, inflicting $125 billion in damage, primarily from catastrophic rainfall-triggered flooding in the Houston metropolitan area. It was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005, ending a record 12-year span in which no hurricanes made landfall at the intensity of a major hurricane throughout the country. In a four-day period, many areas received more than 40 inches (1,000 mm) of rain as the system slowly meandered over eastern Texas and adjacent waters, causing unprecedented flooding. With peak accumulations of 60.58 in (1,539 mm), Harvey was the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the United States. The resulting floods inundated hundreds of thousands of homes which displaced more than 30,000 people and prompted more than 17,000 rescues.

Nature and flora

1994 North American cold wave

The 1994 North American cold wave occurred over the midwestern United States, eastern United States, and southern Canada during January 1994. Two notable cold air events occurred from January 18–19 and from January 21–22. There were 67 minimum temperature records set on January 19. Indiana and Kentucky both set state records on January 19. The United States experienced its coldest temperature month since February 1934, although much of the West experienced mild temperatures. Washington and Idaho experienced the second-warmest January recorded in the previous 100 years.

Nature and flora

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Inflicting nearly $70 billion in damage, it was the second-costliest hurricane on record in the United States until surpassed by hurricanes Harvey and Maria in 2017. The eighteenth named storm, tenth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the year, Sandy was a Category 3 storm at its peak intensity when it made landfall in Cuba. While it was a Category 2 hurricane off the coast of the Northeastern United States, the storm became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. At least 233 people were killed along the path of the storm in eight countries.

Nature and flora

Thunderstorm

A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, lightning storm, or thundershower, is a storm characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere, known as thunder. Thunderstorms occur in a type of cloud known as a cumulonimbus. They are usually accompanied by strong winds, heavy rain, and sometimes snow, sleet, hail, or, in contrast, no precipitation at all. Thunderstorms may line up in a series or become a rainband, known as a squall line. Strong or severe thunderstorms include some of the most dangerous weather phenomena, including large hail, strong winds, and tornadoes. Some of the most persistent severe thunderstorms, known as supercells, rotate as do cyclones. While most thunderstorms move with the mean wind flow through the layer of the troposphere that they occupy, vertical wind shear sometimes causes a deviation in their course at a right angle to the wind shear direction.

Nature and flora

Great Red Spot

The Great Red Spot is a persistent high-pressure region in the atmosphere of Jupiter, producing an anticyclonic storm 22° south of the planet's equator. It has been continuously observed for 188 years, since 1830. Earlier observations from 1665 to 1713 are believed to be of the same storm; if this is correct, it has existed for at least 350 years. Such storms are not uncommon within the turbulent atmospheres of gas giants.

Nature and flora

Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan, known as Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded. On making landfall, Haiyan devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing at least 6,300 people in that country alone. In terms of JTWC-estimated 1-minute sustained winds, Haiyan is tied with Meranti for being the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone on record. In January 2014, bodies were still being found.

Nature and flora

Winter 1985 cold wave

The Winter 1985 cold wave was a meteorological event, the result of the shifting of the polar vortex further south than is normally seen. Blocked from its normal movement, polar air from the north pushed into nearly every section of the central and eastern half of the United States and Canada, shattering record lows in a number of areas. The event was preceded by unusually warm weather in the eastern U.S. in December 1984, suggesting that there was a build-up of cold air that was suddenly released from the Arctic, a meteorological event known as a Mobile Polar High, a weather process identified by Professor Marcel Leroux.