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Why is the weather so extreme?

Nationwide, last year the U.S. saw more extreme weather than any year except 1998, according to the U.S. Climate Index. The index, which extends back to 1910, has seen a trend toward more heat waves, deep freezes, intense storms and droughts affecting more of the nation over the past five years. “As far as extremes, we’ve been really up there since the 1980s." Whether hot or cold, wet or dry, “we’re having more extreme weather at both ends.” Last year was the 10th-warmest on record for the nation, marked by deadly wildfires in California, spring storms that sent 600 tornadoes spinning across the Great Plains and South, severe flooding in Texas and Oklahoma, and a devastating drought across North Carolina and much of the Southeast.
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