The last 12 months have produced some extreme weather both here in Arkansas and the rest of the United States. This examiner has mentioned previously that the extremist on both sides of the global warming issue will use this as fodder for their arguments. 2013 will increase the resistance on both sides of the question, but there is no doubt that this has been a crazy year for weather. Heavy snows in January and February over most of the Midwest and Northeast. Spring was late and the farm areas were experiencing drought. Summer was blistering in most of the United States with widespread drought thru most of the states. Dust storms and Sand storms raked their way through the southwest and fires enveloped Colorado to California to Washington State. Colorado also experienced flooding in the Big Thompson Canyon as a result of the fires in 2012. Loveland, Colorado bore the brunt of the flooding as it is located on the plains at the end of the canyon. The people that lived in the canyon were wiped of the homes, positions, an it is a miracle that there were not more lives lost. The economic loss are staggering not only in the Loveland area, but this also impacts Estes Park which is located at the top of the canyon. This leaves only the longer more curvy drive from the Denver area for tourists to make the trek to some of the most gorgeous mountains and views of streams, lakes, elk, and other wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The environment has humbled us this year with the onslaught of Mother Nature’s worst weapons. They appear to be cruel and random. They however are very precise and predictable. Not so much from when it will happen but where. Nature also provides clues for us to predict what will happen. For example the fires in Colorado created loose topsoil, which then washed down steam with the heavy rains. If the forest had not burned the soil would not have become loose and the flood would not have happened or at least not as severe. These events were predictable.
2014 will have many of the same issues, but if we can plan ahead we can minimize the lost of life and the cost of rebuilding.