Severe Storms? Horrific Hurricanes? Wacky Weather? That’s Climate for You

Emma Schifferl, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Weather is something that Chicagoans know all too well. Whether it’s the wind, the temperatures that fluctuate every 5 minutes, the lakefront snow, or just the overall confusion, wacky weather is something we deal with on a regular basis. However, the crazy Chicago climate is starting to typify the climate nationwide.

Lately, hurricanes, tornadoes, terrible thunderstorms, wildfires, and even droughts have become more commonplace in the news. Hurricanes have been hammering the Southern coast since the beginning of the May 22 – November 30th season, and with seven storms, five of them named, states such as Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana have been taking a beating with 157 total deaths this hurricane season alone. 

Nearly 50% of the lower 48 states are currently in a state of drought. The lack of water is especially evident in the Southwest of the country. It scares farmers and consumers alike, as the lack of water affects crops, profits, and diets all around the region.

Because of the severe drought, the number of wildfires has been spiking. The number this year has been completely absurd, reaching around 7,500 fires, which have burned 2.4 million acres. The wildfires have killed hundreds, displaced thousands, and concerned millions. Many people in regions where wildfire is common live on the edge of their seats, deciding what to do about the fires. Whether it means leaving, moving, or staying out, the fires are causing fear for many.

Climate change continues to affect almost everyone. If you live in an area where severe weather is common, allow yourself time to research safety tips and, if needed, exit routes. Meanwhile, we would be wise to pay attention to the factors that contribute to it.