Written by Tom Kippen
Last updated on March 22, 2013 @ 7:48PM
Created on March 22, 2013 @ 7:30PM
The Mountain State along with the rest of the country had its share of extreme weather the past couple of years. Now, a top National Weather Service official is saying that this could be part of the "new normal".
According to the director of the National Weather Service, Louis Uccellini, global warming is responsible for making storms more intense and producing heavier precipitation. He said that these weather extremes are part of the new normal.
Uccellini did caution though, he doesn't think there are enough cases of extreme weather to prove global warming, but he does think evidence is leaning that way. Super Storm Sandy's surge along the Atlantic coast was an example of sea level rise from possible global warming. He also went on to say that there has been more snowstorms and heavy rain events that have been extreme, and said that's because the warming atmosphere can hold more water vapor and can increase the storm's intensity. Notable weather events over the last year or two along with Super Storm Sandy have included a major tornado outbreak in the southeast, a severe drought in the midwest and last summers June 30th derecho that traveled an estimated 800 miles. As you're very aware, that storm hit us with over 60 mile per hour winds. Officials at the National Weather Service say you should be ready for more extreme events.
"Precipitation, specifically the climate scientist are indicating that there is a increasing likelihood that precipitation can become more extreme in either direction. In terms of too much to soon over a certain area. Or two little for an area for a long period of time. So the floods can get worse and the droughts can get worse," said Chris Vaccaro, Spokesman for the National Weather Service.
Mountain State residents have had to deal with extremes weatherwise. But some people 5 News talked to Friday are concerned that the extremes in the weather that we have seen lately may be contributed to some sort of climate change.
"The coldness right now in March, we have never had it like this, and in January it was in the 50s and 60s. So were getting our weather turned around", said William Grimes, a Taylor County resident.
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