10 Extreme Weather Facts

Extreme weather events have been making headlines on a regular basis and a discussion on what is causing them unavoidably brings the thorny issue of climate change back to center stage.

Extreme weather events are becoming more common due to climate change.


The United States experiences the highest number of tornadoes in the world, with an average of about 1,200 tornadoes occurring each year.


The highest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 56.7°C (134°F) in Death Valley, California, USA, on July 10, 1913.


The strongest hurricane ever recorded in terms of wind speed was Hurricane Patricia in 2015, with maximum sustained winds reaching 215 mph (345 km/h).


Lightning strikes the Earth around 100 times per second, totaling about 8 million strikes per day.


The heaviest recorded snowfall in a single day occurred in Capracotta, Italy, on March 5, 2015, with 100.8 inches (256 cm) of snowfall in 24 hours.


The longest recorded drought in modern history occurred in the Atacama Desert in Chile, lasting from 1570 to 1971—a span of 401 years.


The largest recorded flood by discharge occurred in 1953 in the Amazon River, with a peak discharge of 370,000 cubic meters per second (13 million cubic feet per second).


The largest hailstone ever recorded in the United States had a diameter of 7.9 inches (20 cm) and weighed about 1.9 pounds (0.86 kg). It fell in Vivian, South Dakota, on July 23, 2010.


The Great Blizzard of 1888 in the northeastern United States dumped up to 50 inches (127 cm) of snow in some areas and resulted in significant loss of life and property.

Extreme Rainfall

The highest recorded rainfall in a 24-hour period occurred in Cilaos, La Réunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean, with 71.85 inches (182.5 cm) on January 8-9, 1966.


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"10 Extreme Weather Facts "