Western U.S. bakes and East is deluged in a summer of extremes
As the western U.S. bakes and burns under an unprecedented heat dome, Henri leaves a deluged East Coast staggering after a summer of deadly floods and record-setting tropical storms. Climate scientists say one is due to the other. Both come against the backdrop of a warming planet.
The high pressure that got stuck across the West causing drought and fire actually created the conditions for low-pressure-driven storms in the East. So while July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, it was the sixth wettest in U.S. records going back 127 years, according to the National Centers for Environment Information.
Heat in both the Pacific and the Atlantic has helped strengthen large high pressure systems, said Jim Rouiller, lead meteorologist at the Energy Weather Group. In the West, this has added to the drought and wildfires; in the East, it has steered tropical systems up the coast and kept the region warm and moist. In between has been a low-pressure trough that has kept the rain falling across the central and eastern U.S.
Abnormally warm water in the Atlantic has been providing extra moisture to the storms, said Paul Pastelok, a meteorologist with commercial forecaster AccuWeather Inc.
At least 21 people died in flooding in Tennessee and about 40 more are missing, according to Humphreys County Emergency Management Agency representative Grey Collier. “Many of the homes have been removed from their foundations,” Collier said by telephone. Record rains dropped more than 17 inches (43 centimeters) in McEwen, along with more than 10 inches across a wide section of the state.
The Bible specifically warns that God would send these kind of whether curses, as we write in our free booklet Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?
The God of the Bible is omnipotent. He wields the punitive sword of flood and mildew—and also that of drought (Deuteronomy 28:22; 11:17). Sometimes He uses both at the same time in order to heighten their corrective power: “And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered” (Amos 4:7). Notice—this is God speaking through His Prophet Amos. He controls rainfall, causing floods and droughts! God causes these weather disasters! In one region God sends a drought—in another region, floods—and it all happens right before harvest time.
In August 2017, hurricanes Harvey and Irma flooded Houston with over 50 inches of rain, and torrents of water filled cities across America’s Southeast. At the same time, the West Coast was parched, and fires were scorching millions of acres! It was exactly as God prophesied through Amos!
This prophecy does more than tell us that such disasters will occur. It tells us why they are occurring—and how to prevent them from continuing!
When such calamities strike, God expects us to seek Him. This means prayer, but also much more. Read verses 8-11. These verses foretell of intensifying curses, and state four times: “… yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.” God keeps repeating this crucial point!
God causes these conditions as punishment for pushing Him out of our lives. He is trying to get people to return to Him! This prophecy should help us see the connection between extreme weather upsets and human sin. Certainly we must pray—but we must also return to God! Returning to God requires real, tangible action.