2013 Weather In Review
December 31, 2013

2013 Weather In Review

The clock is about to turn on yet another year in the life of Big Story Weather, so before we get to 2014, let’s take a look back at some weather events that will be remembered for the year of 2013.

Starting with the Tropics, there are a few items that will stick out this year; the first is the reduced number of Atlantic storms that occurred this year. All major experts expected a massive year in the Atlantic due to the increase in climate change, but it turned out that due to the Earth entering a cooler cycle of the climate and possibly the flipping of the PDO from my opinion, the Atlantic was limited in its activity. I think another thing that led to this was the placement of the sub-tropical high pressure being a tad bit further south, allowing for a more tranquil weather pattern across the Atlantic basin. When we enter into a cold climate cycle, this sub-tropical high is forced further south due to the colder invasive air from the north taking a stronger grasp. The second part of the tropical news headlines will be the massive typhoons that slammed the Western Pacific once again. The flipping of the PDO has led to a buildup of warmer waters over the western Pacific, which by far supported this event that took place in 2013.

Next, looking at the Severe Weather across the United States, home to Tornado Alley. First, another below normal year for tornadoes this year, however there will be a few outbreaks that won’t be forgotten. The first took place in the spring over the Southern Plains. Oklahoma was targeted by massive tornadoes that destroyed cities and also took the lives of a few storm chasers. However, overall it was a below normal year for tornadoes in the United States. A strong tornado that hit just northeast of Tokyo, Japan will also be noted in the 2013 severe weather headlines. The rest of the severe weather season was fairly limited until the arrival of November when we had another significant outbreak spread across the Ohio River Valley and south towards the Gulf Coast. This will be noted as the second significant outbreak of the tranquil season.

Ice will be the third topic that I cover this year as a note for the books. Earlier in the 2000’s, the word on the street was going to be the melting of the ice caps completely, however, due to the Earth entering into its colder cycle, we actually saw an increase in polar ice this year, both from the Southern Hemisphere and also the Northern Hemisphere. But if you recall the last few years, we were walking on very low numbers of ice, so this year didn’t have to work that hard to outdo those numbers and it sure did. Also, if you recall, we saw a significant winter storm in the Southern Plains already ahead of schedule, which brought crippling amounts of Ice from northeast Texas, across most of Arkansas and portions of northern Mississippi, along with western Tennessee.

Fourth, we’ll take a look at the increase in cold air events that have been taking place this year, something that won’t be noted anywhere else. Let’s start this section with recalling the month of July, 2013. An unseasonably cold event took place across the Northern Plains, when temps fell to the 30’s across the regions of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, before pushing eastward. Secondly, let’s talk about the famous October Blizzard that hit western South Dakota. This early season winter event lead to the massive crippling of many ranches due to the high rate of cattle death. Thirdly in this section, let’s look at the November weather pattern across the United States and all the cold air that hit the Northern Plains, with some places recording temps well below zero even before the arrival of winter.

Flooding/Drought: 2013 did provide some relief to the drought stricken South, especially in the Southern Plains, due to the higher amounts of rainfall this past summer in the region. Also, the continent of Australia did see an increase in droughts this past year, while most of the southwest United States did see improvements, except for the deserts to the southwest, which would be expected.

These are just some of the more remarkable events that stick out to this meteorologist from this past year.

Enjoy the New Year as more weather events will unfold in 2014.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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