2019 proved to be a strange time for weather, with many unexpected patterns and extreme conditions occurring throughout the year. As we put 2019 in the past and move forward to 2020, let’s take a look back at some of the wildest weather events of the past year.
Early in the year, the Midwest saw unprecedented rainfall that brought very high water levels to rivers and even led to some serious flooding events. An extreme low pressure system brought huge amounts of rainfall and snowfall to a region that had significant snow packed on the ground, still. This, in turn, led to flooding as the snow melted into the spring and the heavy rainfall continued.
This incident was notable, as any flooding of the Mississippi or Missouri River can be catastrophic for the Midwest. Even in the event of heavy rainfall, the Plains aren’t normally affected by flooding. Corn and other crops were significantly delayed early in the year as the fields were flooded and unusable.
Even as the Midwest was underwater, California has been contending with numerous wildfires over the past few years. From October 23 to November 6, California saw its biggest wildfire of 2019, the Kincaide Fire, which rampaged through Sonoma County.
Thankfully, this year saw a milder season for California, with more rainfall and lower average temperatures than 2018. This, in turn, led to less wildfires. The region isn’t out of the woods yet, though; more rainfall means more vegetation, and more vegetation means more kindling for future fires.
A massive hurricane that decided to stop directly over the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian brought record levels of rainfall and destruction to the Caribbean as it lashed through the island region. With maximum sustained winds topping 185 MPH, Dorian is tied for being the strongest storm ever to impact the Bahamas.
The storm was notable for both its extreme size and ridiculously slow speed. At times, the storm was crawling at less than one mile per hour over the Bahamas. This allowed the massive weather system to unload the maximum amount of destruction on the island, leading to no less than 63 deaths in the Bahamas alone.