Extreme Weather: Fires, Floods, Tornadoes, And Snowstorms Emerge Around The Globe

Extreme weather is wreaking havoc around the globe. While Texas is still in the midst of digging out from a weekend of tornadoes, the Lone Star state has been forced to brace for a massive snowstorm. El Nino is being blamed for many of the severe weather systems, which also include flooding induced by heavy rains, fires, and mudslides.

The death toll from extreme weather conditions over the weekend is shocking. Unseasonably warm temperatures, which may have prompted tornadoes and thunderstorms, have claimed 24 lives in the past 72 hours. Four soldiers driving in Missouri lost their lives after being overtaken by flash flooding. The bulk of South America is being pelted by torrential rains that have caused widespread flooding, prompting at least 150,000 residents to flee from their homes in Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, CNN reports.

Massive evacuations have been urged in sections of northern England due to flooding threats. Prime Minister David Cameron called an emergency meeting on Sunday to address the extreme weather concerns and ordered military troops to respond to the area threatened by some of the most severe floodings in decades. Electricity is down throughout the region, leaving thousands in the dark and without the ability to warm their homes and to prepare food, unless they have engaged in disaster preparedness planning before the flood hit and the lights went out.

Fires continue to rage in both Australia and Spain as first responders work diligently to get the blazes in dry regions under control. Both the central and northern regions of Spain have been hard hit by the wildfires. Government officials sent three planes to drop water on the nearly 50 fires raging through the area that has experienced unusually high temperatures and low rainfall. During one of the firefighting excursions, a helicopter used to help battle the blaze crashed and killed the pilot, the only person aboard the aircraft.

Approximately 116 homes were lost in the Victoria area of Australia over Christmas weekend. The brush fires have consumed thousands of hectares of land that has been victim to dry weather. The wildfires are expected to burn for “weeks” despite best efforts to curtail the blazes.

Texas first responders, still exhausted from dealing with a weekend of tornadoes in the northern portion of the state, will likely soon be called upon again to give aid to the public. A Houston Chronicle report reveals that a “historic blizzard” is on the way to the panhandle. The Texas snowstorm predictions have prompted the state public safety and transportation department to issue a warning for travelers to remain off the roads as much as possible. Many drivers wound up stranded along Interstate 40, and a 2.7 magnitude earthquake hit the region on Saturday.

On Christmas, the temperature in the Houston area was a near record 83 degrees. By Monday morning, the thermometer showed a drop to about 40 degrees. The weird weather front also caused snowflakes to converge upon palm trees in El Paso, Texas, ABC News reports. Three feet of snow fell in the Roswell, New Mexico, region over the weekend as thunderstorms knocked out power in New Orleans.

Winter weather warnings for both the Central United States and the Midwest have been issued over concerns about heavy snowfall, freezing rain, and ice in the forecast.

What do you think about the unusual extreme weather currently impacting a large portion of the planet?

[Image via Shutterstock.com]