Jeff Masters

It’s not exactly the Rapture, but the tornadoes that have been tearing through the Midwest and South this year certainly have an end-times feel to them. Just this past Sunday, an EF-5 level tornado (that’s as fierce as it gets) plowed through Joplin, Missouri, killing at least 125 people, flaying the bark off trees, crumpling cars like aluminum cans, and basically flattening everything in its six-mile path.

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Washington D.C.'s getting slammed by record snowfall right now, which means that in addition to unplowed roads and Mad Max-style scenes at Safeway, we also have to suffer through a flurry of Al Gore jokes and Republicans snorting about how this proves global warming is all fake. I guess the prim, boring response is that a single weather event, even an extreme one, simply doesn't tell us much about long-term climate trends. But blah, blah, everyone's heard that line before.

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The conventional wisdom seems to hold that Hurricane Gustav, expected to make landfall at some point within the next 12-24 hours, could quite literally be a disaster for the Republicans as they attempt to hold their National Convention in St. Paul. I am here to present a devil's advocate case that the opposite may be true.But firstly, a little bit more context on the storm. I would suggest that you all bookmark Jeff Masters' blog at Weather Underground, where much of this information is taken from.Within the past 12-24 hours, three things have happened with Gustav.

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