This Summer’s Blockbuster: The Weather

From the November 2004 Trumpet Print Edition

Families stranded on rooftops as swirling waters race by. Flames leaping hundreds of feet high as thousands flee their homes. Crops shriveling as gusty winds and dry weather suck moisture from the soil. A battery of hurricanes lashing the coastlands. Sound like the sequel to the film The Day After Tomorrow? It actually describes the massively destructive weather America has faced this year, with its unprecedented number of wildfires, record rains, floods, scorching drought and severe hurricanes.

Seventy-four percent of the western U.S. faces a moderate to extreme drought. Even states as far east as Georgia have had to enforce restrictions on water use. For much of the West, the droughts have lasted five to six years, and the situation doesn’t look likely to improve. The last five years have been the warmest in the U.S. for over 100 years.

The abnormal increase in temperatures, combined with inadequate precipitation and gusty winds, has sparked over 40,000 fires this year. The average number of acres burned annually for the past 10 years was just over 2 million; but in just the first half of 2004, over 4.7 million acres were burned from wildfires.

While the West was fighting flames, the East was floating in floods. Torrential rains poured more than a foot of rain over a vast area from the Great Lakes all the way to New Jersey, causing serious flooding in that state and on into West Virginia and Maryland.

This year’s abnormally active hurricane season has also smashed records. This summer was the first time since the beginning of postwar hurricane reconnaissance flights that three major hurricanes formed in the Atlantic in the month of August. Four hurricanes hit Florida in about a month—causing the largest evacuation in Florida’s history.

Why is such destructive weather being unleashed? Why would God allow fire to scorch the land, drought to shrivel crops, and towns to be flooded?

Because God wants us to turn to Him! God said He would bless us with rain in due season and safety from weather disasters if we obey Him (Leviticus 26:3-4). God says that if we do not turn to Him, He will cause flooding in one city and drought in another (Amos 4:7-8).

How many will heed God’s warning?