Extreme weather events can be fearsome, destructive, and even today, unpredictable. Bolts of lightning and sudden storm fronts amaze and terrify, both inspiring the perilous journeys of storm chasers and wreaking havoc on the lives of those caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Read on for startling historical accounts of extreme weather, stories of survival, and new research helping scientists understand our increasingly turbulent climate.
There’s a good chance you’ll survive. But the effects can be lasting.
BONUS READ: Ball Lightning Is Real, and Very Rare. This Is What It’s Like to Experience It via Vox.
Researchers see the “human footprint” in extreme weather.
After the sudden and intense drama of getting hit, they suffered from devastating symptoms that wouldn’t go away. It seemed like no one could help—until they found each other.
BONUS READ: Inside the Life of the Man Known as the “Spark Ranger” via The Washington Post.
A group of scientists say the phenomenon could indicate dark matter speeding through our world at more than 300 miles a second.
Storm chasing is part-science, part-art. It demands a good forecast, reading of the sky and getting to the right spot—planning, patience and luck required.
Researchers in Japan are enlisting an army of citizens to explore how storms on Earth create extreme bursts of gamma radiation.
BONUS READ: These Scientists Say They Can Control Lightning via Popular Mechanics.
Severe winter weather was bad for the people and worse for the horses.
Stop messing with the weather, grandma!
BONUS READ: Severe Cyclones May Have Played a Role in the Maya Collapse via Smithsonian Magazine.
Tornado warnings often come minutes before disaster. Here’s what’s standing in the way of better forecasts.
BONUS READ: What You Need to Know About How Tornadoes Form via Popular Mechanics.
The destructive storms, with winds over 75 mph, are often compared to inland hurricanes. But unlike a hurricane, a derecho can come out of nowhere.
Meteorologist Ali Burgos, an analyst at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, breaks down the science in the 1996 film.
In the American history of extreme weather events, ‘Black Sunday’ sticks out.
BONUS READ: Buried Alive In Mongolia’s Worst Sandstorms In A Decade via NPR.
So far, there is little evidence to show that the process is increasing precipitation.
BONUS READ: How Artificially Brightened Clouds Could Stop Climate Change via BBC.
An interactive map detailing the climate-science research that emerged in the early 2000s to explore the human fingerprint on extreme weather, such as floods, heatwaves, droughts and storms.