Weather Predictions for 2012: Better or Worse?

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There is no question that the news in 2011 was primarily weather-related in our area.  I decided to do some extensive research to see what experts are anticipating for 2012.  2011 was truly a disastrous year when it came to weather-related events, so I wanted to find out what we could expect in the way of weather for this upcoming year.  Preparation is vital when it comes to weather catastrophes, so let me share with you what I found out.

In all things, it's important to look back before we look ahead.  We do this when we look at our housing market trends, and this is also true when we look at weather forecasting.  All weather forecasts are initially based on good data, and the margin of error goes up the further out we project.  That means that the ability to accurately predict all four seasons of 2012 is just not possible, but we can look back at 2011 to give us a starting point.

The earth's complex atmosphere with La Niña and El Niño came together during 2011 and created a recipe for disaster.  In fact, it was a historic season that created a lot of heartache and havoc.

When I look at the numbers compiled by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, they were truly jaw dropping.  In one three-day stretch back in April of 2011, which we all remember just like it was yesterday, a whopping 343 tornadoes struck in a band from Alabama to Virginia.  There were other dramatic weather events in addition to that including precipitation levels in the Ohio Valley that exceeded their normal levels by 300%.  This led to flooding along the Mississippi River.

Drought fueled wildfires burned more than 1,000,000 acres in Texas alone.  This is just to name a few of the weather and environmental related catastrophes that happened in 2011.  In fact, the numbers are still being compiled on the cost of the damage that was done.  Joplin, Missouri's devastating killer tornado alone suffered $3 billion in damages.

Just as a comparison, the 1980s only saw an average of $1 billion per year in disasters.  During the 2000's, we saw an average of $5 billion per year in damage. In 2009 and 2010, the United States averaged about $7.5 billion per year in disasters.  The historic top was in 2011 at $12 billion in damage.

Obviously, these disastrous weather events have cost more than money.  Irene's East Coast hurricane and the tornadoes in Joplin in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and other disasters, claimed 646 lives and displaced even more people.

So is this our new norm?

The answer is that it's not likely.  Climate scientists are predicting more extreme weather events due to climate changes, and they say that a year as volatile as 2011 would be quite rare in our lifetimes.  Hopefully that means that the worst is behind us.  Early-season hurricane predictions by WSI, which is a division of The Weather Channel, says that we can expect a quiet 2012 compared to 2011 or even 2010. The reason?  Experts believe that the likelihood is that the La Niña cycle that has driven much of our weather patterns for the last two years might either end or become a part of an El Niño by summer.

No matter what happens in 2012, and will never be free of weather-related catastrophes.  The main thing that we need to take away from this data is that we should be prepared for these disasters.  The sad fact is that many are not.  We need to take lessons from 2011 and make ourselves more weather ready  for 2012.  Instead of having useless New Year's resolutions, let's make our resolution to be more ready for weather-related issues.

Meteorologists saw the April 27 outbreak of tornadoes across Alabama coming several days in advance.  They correctly assessed the seriousness of the situation and even provided location specific warnings up to 30 minutes in advance in our area.  In Joplin, warnings were issued 17 minutes before the storm hit their town.  Even though warnings were issued, we still lost many lives.

We must stop being so desensitized to the alarms and warnings, and stop thinking of them as a hassle or inconvenience.  Instead, we need to realize that it only takes one strong gust to destroy your foundation and change your life forever.  This isn't being sensationalized, it's being smart.

In summary, the predictions for 2012 are much milder than 2011, but we have to be smart about getting ourselves prepared.  As a way of doing that, I want to share a really great deal with you from a local storm shelter company called “Storm Guard”.  Many of you saw photos of me inspecting their product on Facebook a few months back.  They have provided a generous discount to our readers and viewers.  If you mention that you heard about them here for me, they will discount your shelter by $500 until the end of February.  This is an affordable way to protect yourself and your family and worth every penny.  Their installation and units start at only $6500.

I hope that you have a fabulous day, and please continue sending in your questions and ideas on what you'd like to see our next videos and blog posts.  I really enjoy researching what you need information on, and thank you for continuing to support our company and our families by sending your referrals.

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