Extreme Weather in the US: Is It Climate Change or a Historical Pattern?

Devastating wildfires that have destroyed at least 347 homes in Colorado and cost more than $11 million to control. A bizarre derecho storm that killed 22 people and left 4.3 million people without electricity across 10 states. Record heat across the United States. It’s highly unusual – or is it? This summer’s extreme weather has many observers pointing to climate change and global warming as the cause; others argue it’s all part of long-term weather patterns. Either way, insurance companies that must anticipate and respond to natural catastrophes are in the center of the storm. Here’s how some of the experts are interpreting this season’s dramatic weather-related events and their implications for the insurance industry.
July 06, 2012

1. Prelude or Flash in the Pan?

One of the most intense heat waves in U.S. history has enveloped portions of the western plains and Midwest and has now spread eastward. All-time heat records have fallen at a number of significant weather stations. And it is still just June. Is this a prelude for the coming summer or just a flash in the pan?

— Christopher C. Burt, author of "Extreme Weather: A Guide and Record Book," from his blog post "The Amazing June Heat Wave of 2012."

Source: Weather Underground

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