Extreme Weather Dominates U.S.

Brush Fires, Heat, And Tropical Storm Highlight Holiday Weekend

Could this weekend’s weather throughout the country be an omen of things to come this summer? It’s too early to tell, but the rash of brush fires from the Midwest to Southwest along with blistering heat, and even an early season tropical storm has been the topic of discussion nationwide, and making people wonder what could be next.

If you recall, last year was a year remembered for a brutal winter in the Northeast, and the large outbreak of tornadoes in April, and the Joplin tornado in May. The heat didn’t really come until late June and July, and that was followed by tremendous rainfall in the Northeast during August. Included in that rainfall was the onslaught of Hurricane Irene, the first hurricane to make landfall in New Jersey since 1903.

This year, weather has been much tamer, especially in the Northeast, where things had been dry until a little more than a month ago. Heat and brush fires have been the story as of late. Brush fires have exploded across the country with some of the bigger ones in Arizona while others have stretched as far north as Michigan in the U.S. and parts of Southeastern Canada. Tremendous heat has built up in the middle of the country with temperatures soaring as high as 100 degrees in the Midwest.

Severe weather developed in the Mid-Atlantic during the afternoon and early evening as a powerful line of thunderstorms barreled through Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Washington D.C., Baltimore, Harrisburg, and Hagerstown were all in the crosshairs. Meanwhile further south along the Southeast coast from North Carolina to Northern Florida, Tropical Storm Beryl emerged from subtropical storm status on Sunday, and had winds approaching hurricane force earlier. Heavy rains, storm surge up to 3 feet, rip currents, and gusty winds are some of the effects from this storm as it approached Jacksonville.

The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season doesn’t officially start until Friday, and already we have had two named storms. The Eastern Pacific also has had two named storms. More on the Atlantic Basin’s fast start later.