Drought, heat waves and hurricanes: These are the biggest weather stories of 2022 | will it snow in florida


Inclement weather around the world dominated headlines in 2022.

Natural disasters like tornadoes, heat waves and hurricanes took lives and caused significant damage across the globe.

Extreme weather events will become more frequent as global warming continues to climb, according to scientists.

Here were some of the biggest weather headlines in 2022:

‘Blizzard of the century’ kills dozens

The year capped off with a deadly blizzard that claimed the lives of 57 people as it wreaked havoc across the U.S. over Christmas weekend.

The majority of the deaths occurred in western New York, where 34 people died as a result of a massive lake-effect snowstorm.

PHOTO: Vehicles are seen trapped under heavy snow in the streets of downtown Buffalo, New York, on December 26, 2022.

Vehicles are seen trapped under heavy snow in the streets of downtown Buffalo, New York, on December 26, 2022.

The Office of Governor Kathy Hochul/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul described the storm as “the blizzard of the century.” Some victims suffered heart attacks while shoveling or blowing snow. Others became stranded in the storm and died while waiting for emergency services.

The storm marked the first time in history that the Buffalo Fire Department could not respond to calls, officials said.

“This will go down in history as the most devastating storm” in Buffalo, Hochul said during a news conference on Christmas morning.

Melting of Swiss glaciers

Switzerland’s glaciers are disappearing faster than ever as the planet continues to warm.

This year, the Swiss glaciers saw the most glacial melt in recorded history.

PHOTO: People visit the Rhone Glacier covered in blankets to protect it from the sun, above Gletsch near the Furkapass in Switzerland, July 13, 2022.

People visit the Rhone Glacier covered in blankets to protect it from the sun, above Gletsch near the Furkapass in Switzerland, July 13, 2022.

Urs Flueeler/Keystone via AP, FILE

One of the largest glaciers in the eastern Alps saw a dramatic recession. Almost half the glacier volume in the European Alps has disappeared over the past 150 years, according to the European Geosciences Union.

More than 80% of Swiss glacier mass could be lost by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are not severely reduced in the next decade, according to scientists.

Record-breaking heat waves in Europe, U.S.

Summer 2022 was one of the warmest on record, with hundreds of millions of people around the world experiencing sweltering, dangerous heat.

This year’s June was tied with 2020 as the warmest June on record, according to NASA. In July, the United Kingdom hit its hottest temperature on record, at 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

PHOTO: Two people embrace as firefighters battle wildfires, Aug. 5, 2022, in Pontevedra, Spain.

Two people embrace as firefighters battle wildfires, Aug. 5, 2022, in Pontevedra, Spain.

Gustavo de la Paz/Europa Press/Abaca/Sipa USA via AP, FILE

Heat-related deaths topped 1,100 in Spain and Portugal, while wildfires blanketed parts of Spain and France.

The scorching conditions in Europe occurred concurrently with hot conditions in the U.S., as a heat dome sent triple-digit temperatures to the Southwest, Great Plains and up and down the East Coast.

Rampant tornadoes in the South

There were several deadly tornado events in the South this year.

In March, nearly 30 tornadoes ripped across seven states, causing more than $1 billion in damage and killing three people, according to the National Weather Service.

PHOTO: The Mississippi Department of Transportation digital message board warns drivers along I-55 of a tornado warning during the outbreak of severe weather in the state, March 30, 2022.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation digital message board warns drivers along I-55 of a tornado warning during the outbreak of severe weather in the state, March 30, 2022.

Rogelio V. Solis/AP, FILE

Batches of deadly tornadoes continued until late in the year. Earlier this month, tornadoes that swept through Louisiana killed three people, and in late November a mother and her 8-year-old son were killed in central Alabama have more than 34 tornadoes touched down in Southern states like Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

Hurricanes devastate Florida, Caribbean

Florida suffered a devastating Atlantic hurricane season in 2022, with Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm, hitting southwest Florida in late September, causing $50 billion in damage.

On the heels of Ian came Hurricane Nicole, which hit the eastern part of the state and caused severe erosion.

PHOTO: People walk past a home that collapsed onto the beach due to the storm surge and resulting erosion caused by Hurricane Nicole on November 11, 2022 in Wilbur-By-The-Sea, Florida.

People walk past a home that collapsed onto the beach due to the storm surge and resulting erosion caused by Hurricane Nicole on November 11, 2022 in Wilbur-By-The-Sea, Florida.

Paul Hennessy/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, FILE

It was the first time since 2005 the state was hit with two major hurricanes in the same season.

Before Ian and Nicole, Hurricane Fiona wreaked havoc in Puerto Rico, testing the island’s new infrastructure that had not been tested since Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Western megadrought expands east

The megadrought that has been plaguing the West has not only persisted across much of the Western U.S., but it has expanded further east as well, according to NOAA.

The current megadrought impacting the West is the most extreme of the last 1,200 years, according to the World Economic Forum.

PHOTO: Kayakers ascend a steep and growing embankment between the unusable Antelope Point boat ramp and the water as the level of Lake Powell continues to drop on September 3, 2022 near Page, Arizona.

Kayakers ascend a steep and growing embankment between the unusable Antelope Point boat ramp and the water as the level of Lake Powell continues to drop on September 3, 2022 near Page, Arizona.

David Mcnew/Getty Images

The largest reservoirs in the country, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, have hit their lowest levels ever recorded, as have bodies of water all over the region.

Further east, the Mississippi River basin also experience historic lows as the result of a prolonged drought, leading to delays in shipping of valuable imports and exports, such as cement, gravel and fuel.

Historic flooding in Kentucky

At least 39 people were killed in eastern Kentucky in late July after a repetitive rain system of “training thunderstorms.”

Rain fell at a record 4 inches per hour at some points, causing catastrophic damage, according to the National Weather Service.

PHOTO: A house is almost completely submerged from recent flooding, July 29, 2022, in Breathitt County, Kentucky.

A house is almost completely submerged from recent flooding, July 29, 2022, in Breathitt County, Kentucky.

Michael Swensen/Getty Images, FILE

Climate change is expected to increase annual flooding costs in the U.S. by 26% to $40.6 billion by 2050, a study published in Nature in January 2022 found.

ABC News’ Tracy Wholf and Ginger Zee contributed to this report.



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