Smile Politely

Ask Politely #19

It’s been a banner year for the weather gods — and we’re only six months in.

What makes this year so remarkable?

Nationwide, we’ve had nearly 700 confirmed (and more than 1,300 reported) tornadoes this year, and they’ve been accompanied by an onslaught of violent weather patterns like the ones that had Champaign-Urbana’s sirens ringing earlier this week.

The Pacific nations have seen five typhoons so far (more than 60 dead and another 40 remain missing). And in May, the nation of Burma experienced the worst cyclone disaster in its history, with almost 80,000 perishing and another 55,000 gone missing.

And then there are earthquakes. More than 67,000 killed in western China by a 7.9 quake. Other big ones in Algeria, the Congo, India and Indonesia. Even here in central Illinois, an unusual earthquake in April reminded us that we have some tectonic instability of our own.

Floods. T-storms. Hail. Droughts.

Unseasonably cold. Unconventionally hot. Nothing quite normal.

Question is: Why?

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