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'Weather-Palooza' Wallops Nation Over Weekend

Common Dreams staff

It was a weekend of extreme, wild weather across the nation.

Weather historian Christopher C. Burt wrote on Friday:

For what may be the first time in modern records, the contiguous U.S. is facing a simultaneous threat from a tropical storm landfall, blizzard, tornado outbreak, and extreme wild fire event. Or, as Chrissy Warrilow of The Weather Channel put it, a veritable Weather-Palooza (a ‘Palooza’ is a musical event featuring four or so major acts performing at the same time).

While tropical storm Karen weakened and was downgraded to a tropical depression on Saturday, Burt notes that it contributed to flooding in Louisville, Kentucky, which was hit with nearly seven inches of rain, the "2nd greatest 24-hour precipitation event in the city’s modern history."

A storm system walloped the Great Plains with tornadoes and thunderstorms while bringing a blizzard to Wyoming and South Dakota. Wayne, Nebraska may have been the area most heavily hit by a tornado, and the National Weather Service has called the twister that whipped through the town on Friday an EF4 tornado, one that has wind speeds of 166 to 200 mph. Meanwhile, at least 33 inches of snow fell in South Dakota's Black Hills, while four feet of snow, a record breaker for this time of year, fell in the South Dakota town of Deadwood.  

Brett Anderson, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, said, "It is not all that unusual to have significant snow in the Rockies and Black Hills this time of year, but it is rare to have snowfall measured in feet in early October."

Another part of the wild weather trifecta that hit the nation this weekend was in California, where hurricane-force winds and unseasonably high temperatures helped fuel several wildfires.  The National Weather Service called the situation the region's "most significant fire weather threat in the past five years."

While climate change was not mentioned in corporate media reports covering the extreme events of the past several days, a report last month from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) echoed previous studies in linking extreme weather events to human-caused climate change.

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Photos from some Twitter users show some of the extreme weather:



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