2013 was the seventh warmest year on record and
saw one of the strongest cyclones, strongest tornadoes and the most topsy-turvy
weather experienced in decades.
Spring 2013 was one for the record books. Two EF5 tornadoes ripped
through the Oklahoma City area in May. A monster EF5 tornado packing winds
between 200-210 mph roared through Moore, OK on May 20th, pulverizing block
after block of homes and demolishing the walls of an elementary school. The
tornado struck at mid-afternoon and tore a 17-mile path that was 1.3 miles
wide. It was on the ground for approximately 40 minutes. Much of the storms
rampage was captured on live television, perhaps alerting people in its path to
seek shelter. Another round of severe weather torn through El Reno, OK on May
31st. Storms swept through the area generating an EF5 tornado and violent flash
floods. The tornado was the widest one ever recorded -- 2.6 miles long.
late June 2013, an intense heat wave struck the Southwestern United States.
Various places in Southern California reached up to 122 °F. On June 30,
Death Valley, California hit 129.2 °F, which is the hottest temperature
ever recorded on Earth during the month of June.
days of heavy rain, massive flooding in Colorado stranded hundreds of
residents. Colorado's heavily populated Front Range received more than 15
inches of rain in September. That's about half the amount of precipitation that
normally falls in the foothills near Boulder during an entire year.
It came as a surprise that the 2013 Atlantic Ocean
hurricane season was one of the weakest recorded in 50 years. There were no
major hurricanes in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic basin and
only Ingrid and Humberto out of the 13 named storms reached hurricane strength.
It was a very different story in the western-north Pacific however, where 30
major storms had been recorded by early November. Thirteen of them were
typhoon-strength, the biggest by some way being typhoon Haiyan, possibly the
most powerful tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history. Haiyan
smashed into the southern Philippines, killing 6,000 people and wreaking