With record-breaking temperatures leading to more confounding discussions of the undeniable impacts of climate change, Earth.com has assembled a list of ten unusual weather occurrences… along with one insane (but not so unusual) fire tornado.
Ocean freezes over in Massachusetts.
In January 2018, the Winter Storm Grayson, also known as ‘the bomb cyclone,’ caused certain sections of the northeastern coast to freeze over. Temperatures dropped below -20º F, making parts of the region resemble the shores of Alaska.
Sahara Desert sees snow.
In December of 2017, snow fell upon the Saharan desert town of Ain Sefra, Algiers in North Africa for the first time in 37 years. It only lasted for a day and then melted away. Temperatures in the Sahara can reach 136º F.
Wildfires burn western Greenland.
Much of Greenland is normally covered by ice. However, in August 2017, a satellite over western Greenland detected wildfires. There were more wildfires in Greenland in 2017 than any year since 2002.
Hottest daily low temperature on record in Oman.
On June 17, 2017, the port city of Khasab, Oman earned the new world record for the “hottest daily low temperature” at 111.6º F.
Peru devastated by El Niño floods.
The Los Angeles Times estimated $3.1 in damage, dozens of casualties, and hundreds of thousands of people left homeless in the South American country of Peru due to floods caused by a coastal El Niño storm in March of 2017.
Bavarian town sees rainbow… arched over a tornado.
Kürnach, a small town about 60 miles from Frankfurt, saw a phantasmic white tornado swirling under a perfect rainbow in March of 2017. There was even reportedly footage of a secondary rainbow…
Sierra Ski Resorts get too much snow.
In April 2017, California’s Sierra Nevada mountains went from snow-starved just two years earlier to 800 inches of snow. It was the wettest year for the region since the El Niño storms of 1982 and 1983. There was so much snow that ski season was extended into August.
Oklahoma goes from nearly 100 degrees to snow in three days.
In February 2017, the town of Magnum, Oklahoma registered record-breaking heat of 99.4 º F, only to see snow fall three days later on Valentine’s Day. The ground was too hot to result in any visible snow cover.
First February tornadoes ever recorded hit Massachusetts.
In February 2017, the Massachusetts towns of Conway and Goshen were ripped through by a pair of tornadoes. These were the first tornadoes to hit the state in the month of February since weather patterns started being recorded in the 1950s.
Lightning strikes Seattle’s Space Needle while it snows.
It is indeed a rare occurrence for winter snow and thunder to happen at the same time. In late February 2017, lightning struck the Space Needle while snow fell upon the city of Seattle. On average, there is a less than .5 percent chance of both snow and thunder happening there between November and March in that region.
Fire tornado captured in Western Australia.
In January 2017, a fire whirl over 3,000 feet high was filmed in the midwest region of Western Australia. While not entirely uncommon to the region, video footage of such an occurrence is hard to find.