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Is extreme weather the new normal?

February 2, 2013
The Inter-Mountain

What is up with the weather?

That might sound like a frivolous question, but let's look at recent events in our area:

This week's see-sawing temperatures and wild weather extremes have kept residents glued to their computers and smart phones, checking the weather forecasts - which seemed to change constantly - and tracking the storms headed through our area. Still, the reality of the weather we've experienced this week has consistently been more severe than what forecasters predicted.

So, as we asked earlier, what's up with the weather? Is this a manifestation of the dreaded global warming issue that American politicians have argued about so violently during the last decade? Or is this just an example of a "perfect storm" of weather fronts colliding and creating a major storm? If so, that would make four "perfect storms" in our region during the last seven months.

Whatever the cause of the extreme weather, the biggest problem caused by these storms has been disruption of electrical service. Looking forward, do we have to accept extreme weather will cause major disruptions to service, or do we need to invest in improvements?

Since the derecho, area officials have worked hard to prepare for major weather events, but do we need to start thinking proactively, as opposed to just reacting to storms when they happen? Is there something we can do to make electrical outages less likely?

These are questions that we fear our region will have to address in the coming years.



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