It's been a doozy of a year for extreme weather disasters in the US to be sure—to the degree that the nation set a new record for billion-dollar natural disasters. If you're wondering which states got smacked hardest then OnEarth has a list for you.
Unsurprisingly, Texas tops the list. The Lone Star state was hit by 8 of this year's billion-dollar disasters and is still in the midst of the greatest one-year drought the state has ever seen.
Alabama takes second, due to the largest tornado outbreak in US history. Missouri is in third, for much the same reason. North Carolina experienced the record tornadoes as well, plus Hurricane Irene.
Fifth through tenth places: Oklahoma (drought, heat, hail), Tennessee (flooding), Kansas (heat, drought), Connecticut (snow... in October, plus Hurricane Irene), Vermont (Irene), New Jersey (Irene, freak October snow).
The Climate Connection
Stock disclaimer: No single extreme weather event can be solely attributed to climate change, but let's get beyond that tired truism... All of this is exactly the sort of thing that global warming has been predicted to bring about. In other words, climate change is happening pretty dramatically all around us, even if only through taking a broad view, looking at the trend, often in hindsight we will be able to pull out what impact climate change has had.
As OnEarth writes:
The new climate environment created by global warming is make some extreme events, particularly heat waves and heavy rain, more likely to occur and more intense when they do. Climate models have more difficulty predicting how climate change may be influencing other types of extremes, such as severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, but a warming climate provides more fuel to these events in the form of increased water vapor and heat in the atmosphere.