Raindrops, puddles
Photo by Reza Shayestehpour
The Midwest is getting pummeled by rain, flooding, and tornadoes this week... again.
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Over the last 30 days, there have been more than 500 tornadoes in the United States. Tuesday was the 12th day in a row when at least eight tornadoes touched down. This Midwest weather is a new all-time record for the whole country. Midwest town after town lay in ruins, and billions upon billions of dollars of damage has already been done. And the catastrophe is far from over. Meteorologist are suggesting that more powerful storms will roar through the middle of the country this week, starting Wednesday.

On average, there are around 279 tornadoes reported during the month of May since 1998. According to the National Weather Service, there were more than 50 tornadoes over Memorial Day weekend alone.

The storms have drawn their fuel from two sources. These are a high-pressure area that pulled the Gulf of Mexico’s warm, moist air into the central United States, where it combined with the effects of a trough trapped over the Rockies, which included strong winds.

Dayton assistant fire chief Nicholas Hosford explained to “Good Morning America,” that there were “homes flattened, entire apartment complexes destroyed, businesses throughout our community where walls have collapsed.”

Rainfall and Floods

So far this year, much of the focus has been on the historic flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, but now severe flooding along the Arkansas River is threatening to break all-time records.

Heavy rainfall over the past few weeks is challenging the all-time May records. Swelling rivers are reaching record levels in parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma. The National Weather Service in Little Rock, Arkansas, said it expecting historic, record flooding along the Arkansas River from Toad Suck Reservoir northwest of Little Rock to the Oklahoma border. This flooding could have  impact farmers well into the summer.

For example, In Vicksburg, Mississippi, the river reached the flooded stage on February 17 and has remained that way since. The weather service said this is the longest continuous stretch since 1927. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Mississippi first rose above flood stage in early January, and has been above that level ever since, the National Weather Service said. If this record-long stretch extends well into June, it would break the record from 1927, according to the Weather Channel.

Disastrous to Farmers

This year’s wet weather has been disastrous for Midwest farmers.  So far in 2019, agricultural production is way below expectations. This will result in restrictions on food and higher prices at the grocery store.

Midwest Weather: More Is On The Way

Unfortunately, more wet weather is eminent. According to the Weather Channel, another series of very powerful storms will tear through the middle of the country on Wednesday. Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected through Tuesday night from Iowa to Oklahoma. This may produce areas of locally heavy rain and flash flooding. Some clusters of storms may persist into Wednesday morning in the Ozarks region.

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