Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call for the Northeast in 2012, but 2013 brought a long list of weather extremes: Chicago, Boulder, Austin and Calgary, Alberta all experienced historic rains, while major wildfires flared up from Colorado to California. Much of the nation flip-flopped from drought to flood, back to drought, as weather systems temporarily stalled, more evidence of “weather whiplash”. The perception: America’s weather is becoming more extreme over time. But do the numbers, the actual data, confirm this trend? How much of this is a natural cycle vs. symptoms of climate change? Rising sea levels are loading the dice in favor of more coastal storm surge flooding, but inland cities are seeing a higher frequency of torrential summer rains and rising heat indices. What’s the long (long) range forecast for the Upper Midwest? What are the risks, and how can we make our infrastructure more resilient and storm-ready? I’ll take a look at the trends and discuss the possible implications.
About Paul Douglas
Paul Douglas is a meteorologist and entrepreneur. Previous companies invented 3-D TV weather graphics (1990s) and the first weather apps on a smart phone (2001). Part of his latest venture, Media Logic Group, Alerts Broadcaster provides companies worldwide with automated and custom messaging for severe storm alerts. Minnesota’s first Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, Douglas writes a daily print and online column for the Star Tribune. He’s on the CSRRT, The Climate Science Rapid Response Team, and a member of the board of the NRPE, The National Religious Partnership for the Environment. TV meteorologist, author and teacher, Douglas speaks to corporations about severe weather trends – and his successful entrepreneurial ride launching 9 start-up companies.
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