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2021 a Year of Weather to Remember — Leading to Disasters

What should we expect in 2022?

I know many readers don’t have access to the Washington Post, but this article, “Cold, heat, fires, hurricanes and tornadoes: The year in weather disasters,” pretty much summarizes what we collectively lived through in 2021.

Looking back, there was something for everyone in every corner of our nation. Too much rain, too little rain, heat in the Pacific Northwest, cold in Texas, hurricanes with one that caused more damage as a tropical storm in the Northeast. The month is not over, but we had the tornado outbreak in the Southeast and a blizzard in Hawaii.

Rain is still the biggest culprit across North America. Too little rain to feed the West and then a deluge of rain in the Pacific Northwest that sees frequent rain and cold weather systems, but not atmospheric rivers of rain that drop prodigious amounts of moisture.

The long-term forecast is pretty easy to predict. Given the changing climate, we’ll have more of the same in 2022.

Lest we forget, we are not the only place on the globe experiencing disasters. The Sahara Desert keeps creeping south and Germany had one of the types of flood events that no one expected could happen there.

We need to readjust what is “normal” to what will be the “new normal.” Of any institution, business or government, the insurance industry is doing that right now. Expect your property insurance to be going up as losses from storms continue to mount.
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.