The United States on Wednesday had the most hurricane-force gusts ever recorded in a single day after an after an \u0022off the charts\u0022 storm system tore through the central part of the country, bringing tornadoes and triggering widespread power outages, dust storms, and warnings of the climate emergency.\r\n\r\n\u0022This is just the kind of thing that happens when you\u0026#039;re in the process of breaking the planet\u0026#039;s climate system.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe National Weather Service\u0026#039;s Storm Prediction Center said there were 55 such wind events throughout the day, more than ever seen at least since current record-keeping began in 2004.\r\n\r\n\u0022I\u0026#039;ve been doing this 30 years,\u0022 said CNN meteorologist Tom Sater, \u0022and we\u0026#039;re seeing things today in the CNN Weather Center we have never seen before.\u0022\r\n\r\nHundreds of thousands of people are still without power on Thursday, according to PowerOutage.US, with the highest number—over 230,000—in Michigan. The second-highest number is in Wisconsin, where over 147,000 customers are without power.\r\n\r\nThe Storm Prediction Center (SPC) on Wednesday also issued for the first time in its history an \u0022extremely critical fire weather outlook\u0022 for the Southern and Central Plains during the month of December, and the Weather Prediction Center noted that dozens of cities were experiencing record-warm daily temperatures.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTornadoes were reported in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska.\r\n\r\nThe Weather Channel further noted:\r\n\r\n\r\nMore than 425 reports of severe weather were tallied up Wednesday, mostly in parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, northern Missouri, southern Minnesota, and western Wisconsin. That\u0026#039;s the most severe weather reports for a December day in the U.S. since at least 2000, according to NOAA\u0026#039;s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) database.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe severe weather came just days after an outbreak of 41 tornadoes across eight states caused widespread damage in large swathes of the South and Midwest.\r\n\r\n\u0022Incredible. And in December. Our atmosphere is broken,\u0022 said Minnesota Public Radio chief meteorologist Paul Huttner in a tweet responding to the announcement of the most 75-mile-per-hour or higher thunderstorm wind gusts in a day.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSharing video of severe wind conditions on the ground Wednesday in Elkhart, Kansas, author and climate activist Bill McKibben said: \u0022The last Dust Bowl stemmed from degradation of the soil. This time it\u0026#039;s the climate we\u0026#039;ve upended.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWriting Wednesday at his Substack \u0022The Crucial Years,\u0022 McKibben framed Wednesday\u0026#039;s storm system as an unsurprising outcome of the climate emergency:\r\n\r\n\r\nIt\u0026#039;s hard to overstate how hellish the storm now raging across the central plains really is: half the lower 48 is under a weather warning of some kind, as the National Weather Service describes a \u0022historic weather day,\u0022 with tornado warnings extending farther north than we\u0026#039;ve ever seen in December. In Colorado winds as high as 107 mph swept down the Front Range of the Rockies. \u0022Amid the high winds, blinding dust storms have swelled over parts of southeast Colorado and western Kansas, with wildfires erupting in Kansas and the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.\u0022\r\n\r\nNone of this comes as a great surprise—it\u0026#039;s been a record hot December across much of the continent, with temperatures in the 70s across the northern midwest. This is just the kind of thing that happens when you\u0026#039;re in the process of breaking the planet\u0026#039;s climate system.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe developments come after scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information said earlier this month that Earth had its fourth-warmest November and that the U.S. had its third-warmest meteorological autumn on record.