The Mr. Hyde and other Mr. Hyde of extreme weather across the U.S. in the last week is largely consistent with how climate change is making extreme weather more extreme, scientists say. Across the Northern Plains and West, Extreme and Exceptional drought conditions are forcing North Dakota ranchers to sell off their cattle before they starve and creating the tinder-like conditions fueling multiple 100,000-acre megafires across California. “We’re at the epicenter of a changing climate,” North Dakota State University professor and state climatologist Adnan Akyuz told the New York Times.
Meanwhile, extreme rainfall and subsequent flooding in the Eastern U.S., also a hallmark of climate change, killed at least 27 people in Tennessee and North Carolina in the last week while Henri dealt an estimated $4 billion worth of damage to the Northeast. “This is very abnormal,” Jim Rouiller, lead meteorologist at the Energy Weather Group, told Bloomberg. “There is also a stronger signal for global warming in the picture. I do believe now more than I have that it is occurring. I just don’t know the magnitude but the change is happening and it is going to keep on increasing.” (Bloomberg $, New York Times $; North Dakota drought: New York Times $; Henri damage: Bloomberg $; Climate Signals background: Drought, Extreme precipitation increase)