In Part 1 of this teaching about the end times sign of nature as it relates to extreme weather, we looked to the Bible to see that God does indeed exhibit a pattern of using extreme weather to get a wayward people’s attention and call them back to a right relationship with Him. In this part, we will scour the data to see if, in truth, natural disasters are indeed increasing in frequency and intensity.
Today’s Extreme Weather
What are we witnessing happening all around the world today? All sorts of weather calamities! Out-of-control hurricanes, record numbers of tornadoes, increasing earthquakes, devastating floods, and destructive forest fires are occurring more and more frequently and causing greater and greater damage with each and every passing year. We can all admit that we recognize nature has been getting out of hand, and it’s been getting worse.
Natural News released an article by David Gutierrez titled “Natural Disasters Up More Than 400 Percent in Two Decades.” The article notes that: “natural disasters are increasing in frequency, ravaging the world, our countries, and even our own homes… the number of natural disasters around the world has increased by more than four times in the last 20 years, according to a report released by the British charity Oxfam.” The earth is currently experiencing approximately 500 natural disasters per year, compared with 120 per year in the early 1980s.
A report by the The Weather Channel titled “Nine Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters So Far In 2022” written by Jan Wesner Childs notes that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that the past two years saw record lists of billion-dollar disasters, thanks largely to drought plus devastating wildfire and hurricane seasons in the second half of the year. Other recent years have also been active. From 1980 to 2017 there was an average of $7.7 billion-dollar weather disasters per year. But, in just the past five years, that number has gone up to $17.8.
Here are the nine billion-dollar weather disasters that have occurred so far in 2022:
- Tornado Outbreak — On March 30, a string of 83 tornadoes hit several Gulf Coast states. Homes, businesses, schools, and other buildings were damaged or destroyed at a cost of $1.3 billion.
- Tornado Outbreak — On April 4-6, a combined 100 tornadoes were reported rampaging across Texas to South Carolina over the course of three days. The strongest, rated EF4, destroyed several neighborhoods in Pembroke, Georgia. Total damage added up to $1.3 billion.
- Severe Weather Outbreak — From April 11-13, an outbreak of severe weather swept across several southern states due to damaging winds and dozens of tornadoes. $2.2 billion in damages.
- Hail — On May 9, in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, baseball-sized hail pummeled cars and homes, leading to $1.2 billion in damage.
- Severe Weather Outbreak — On, May 11-12, tornadoes, hail, and high winds targeted several northern central states including South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, causing $1.3 billion in damage.
- Hail — On May 19, severe hail storms, including several reports of golf-ball-sized hail, pounded homes, vehicles, and businesses in southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Total damages added up to $1.3 billion.
- Severe Weather Outbreak — On June 7-8, damaging winds, hail, and more than two dozen tornadoes caused $1.4 billion in damage across Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, and Ohio. Nebraska was hit especially hard with hail and wind damage to homes, businesses, vehicles, and farms.
- Derecho — On June 13, a line of thunderstorms ripped across several states including Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan. Winds reached an estimated 90 mph to 95 mph.
- Drought — Drought in the western and southern plains. Last year, drought in the west racked up nearly $10 billion in damages, including crop losses.
Not only has severe weather plagued the world in increasing destruction over the past few years but so too earthquakes. NBC News wrote in their article “Worldwide Surge in ‘Great’ Earthquakes Seen in Past 10 Years” that the annual number of “great” earthquakes has nearly tripled over the last decade, “providing a reminder to Americans that unruptured faults like those in the northwest United States might be due for a Big One.” The article notes that between 2004 and 2014, 18 earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.0 or more rattled subduction zones around the globe. “That’s an increase of 265 percent over the average rate of the previous century, which saw 71 great quakes, according to a report to the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.” The report concludes that on average, there are normally only 16 major earthquakes (M 7.0-8.0+) worldwide per year. In addition, we experience an average of 142 strong earthquakes (M 6.0-7.0) worldwide annually.
The Week released an article titled “The World’s Most Extreme Weather Events of 2021” written by Julia O’Driscoll that lists the top ten most devastating natural disasters that happened during 2021.
- Record-breaking Snowfall, Madrid — Snow Storm Filomena created record-breaking snow which left many people stranded. The storm ended up causing 1.6 billion dollars of damage. Madrid just doesn’t see weather events like this lately. Reports say this storm was the worst snowstorm Madrid has experienced in 50 years.
- Storm Christoph, UK — Reports say this storm caused one of the wettest three-day periods on record, affecting both northern Wales and northwest England. Residents there claimed the storm caused a tremendous atmosphere of anxiety and disbelief.
- Cyclone Ana, Fiji — Fiji was hit by Cyclone Ana just after they had already been hit by another cyclone. The cyclone caused 10,000 people to take refuge. Some 318 evacuation centers across the country had to be opened to help the people who’d been hurt by the storm.
- Polar Vortex, Texas — Texas was affected by a natural disaster involving a tremendous cold snap due to a weather anomaly called a polar vortex. Temperatures dropped to a chilling -5 degrees Fahrenheit, or -15 degrees Celsius, which is unheard of in this hot area of the country. Many, many people lost power and had their pipes burst, leaving them without heat and water for days. Some people even froze to death.
- Dust Storm, China — A huge dust storm engulfed China. It totally blacked out the skies, causing hazardous breathing conditions for the people who live in that area of the world. The residents of Beijing said the sky turned orange.
- Flooding, Sydney and New South Wales, Australia — Australian residents felt the devastating effects of extreme flooding due to heavy downpours which lead to rivers and dams overflowing. Thousands had to be evacuated from their homes.
- Cyclone Seroja, Indonesia — Indonesia was hit by Cyclone Seroja causing dramatic flooding and landslides. Residents claim they hadn’t seen anything like it in decades. Over 22,000 people were displaced and had to flee from their homes because of this natural disaster.
- Record Temperatures, Moscow — Russia residents were scorched by a record-breaking heatwave.
- Heat Dome, Pacific Northwest — A heat dome formed over the US and Canada in the Pacific region of our country. People there experienced a record heatwave with temperatures nearing a blistering 115 degrees Fahrenheit. While that wouldn’t be too weird for people in some parts of the world, there it was devastating. People living in those milder climates were just not prepared for that sort of hot weather.
- Bootleg Fire, Oregon — Horrific fires raging across the Pacific area of the United States in California and Oregon. The Bootleg Fire was the biggest fire that Oregon claims to have ever experienced. Last reported the wildfire had destroyed 160 homes and ranches.
- Flooding, West Germany — Western Germany endured floods that engulfed whole streets and swallowed up homes.
- Flooding, China — The floods China experienced were quite awful. Some weathermen said it was the most rain that area of the world has seen in a thousand years.
- Wildfires, Greece — Wildfires raged across Greece, killing 12 people. Not just Greece, but Turkey and Italy also were plagued by wildfires spreading all over the Mediterranean due to a heatwave.
- Hurricane Ida, US — Hurricane Ida left a tremendous amount of damage, especially terrible flooding in New York. The storms were so intense that the floodwaters filled up New York City subway stations. Millions of people were without power.
- Monsoon Flooding, India and Nepal — Several Nepalese regions and two Indian states were hit by “heavy late monsoon rains” in October, Reuters reported. Deadly flash floods took the lives of more than 180 people as homes were submerged or crushed by rocks.
- Tornadoes, Kentucky — More than 30 tornadoes tore through Kentucky and seven other states, claiming the lives of at least 90 people, and leaving thousands of residents homeless. The state’s governor said that this was the most devastating, most deadly tornado event in Kentucky’s history.
- Typhoons, Philippines — The Philippine Red Cross described complete carnage in coastal areas of the country after Super Typhoon Rai sent some 400,000 people running for safety on December 16th. Winds at around 120 mph ripped through the nation’s southeastern islands, injuring at least 500 people. A further 375 people are known to have died.
As bad as 2021 turned out to be, 2022 continued the crazy weather onslaught. People in their article titled “The Most Extreme Weather Events of 2022 (So Far)” written by Diane J. Cho reported the natural disasters plaguing the world during the first four months of 2022.
- Winter Storm Izzy — In January, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky were hit particularly hard by winter storm Izzy, which brought on freezing temperatures, high winds, snow, and ice to the southeast region of the United States. The frigid weather event left more than 100,000 people without power and places like North Carolina saw up to 10 inches of snow. North Carolina highway patrol responded to 300 car crashes.
- Snow Storm Malik — In January, in Northern Europe, the storm brought on hurricane-level winds, floods, and at least 130,000 homes in England lost power. One was a nine-year-old boy who died when a tree fell on him, and a person in the Czech Republic was killed after sustaining injuries from a wall that was blown down by the wind.
- Malaysia Hit by Massive Flood — In January, more than 125,000 people had to evacuate as heavy rain caused massive floods in Malaysia. The country’s annual monsoon season usually brings a lot of rain, but this year’s unusually heavy rainfall displaced more than 8,000 people and filled up more than a hundred relief centers. At least 50 people died in the floods.
- Texas Icing — In February, the Northeast was pounded with snow, sleet, and ice. Moving from New Mexico to New England, the freezing cold front buried neighborhoods with more than a foot of snow in New York and New England. Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the winter storm “one of the most significant icing events that we’ve had in the State of Texas in at least several decades.”
- Antarctic Heatwave — In March, the coldest location on the planet had reached up to 70 degrees above normal for more than three days in March. From minus 63 degrees to 0 degrees. The staggering leap broke the record for hottest ever in the region, so far.
- India’s Heatwave — March was the hottest month on record for India in 122 years. The country basically skipped spring and zoomed right into summer.
- Tropical Cyclone Gombe — The death toll rose to at least 50 people after Tropical Cyclone Gombe pummeled Mozambique in March. Southern Africa has seen a rise in cyclones that have become more deadly over time.
- Alabama Tornadoes — In April, the southern states endured floods, hail storms, and dangerous winds, but the National Weather Service announced that Alabama had the most tornado warnings out of all the states this year, 115 to be exact, as of April 18. Coming in second was Mississippi with 110, Texas with 104, and Arkansas with 88.
- Tropical Storm Megi — In April, Tropical Storm Megi ravaged the Philippines, where landslides from the relentless rain buried a remote community, killing at least 123 people.
The summer of 2022 continued to see the ongoing collapse of the Australian Reef. In recent years, Australia has suffered severe drought, historic bushfires, successive years of record-breaking floods, and six mass bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef.
Gizmodo reported on what’s being called “America’s Mega-Drought.” The western and southwestern U.S. is wilting under the biggest drought in 1,200 years.” As the Great Salt Lake Dries Up, Utah Faces what some are calling an “Environmental Nuclear Bomb.” Long-sunken history and even evidence of past crimes are emerging from the receding waters. First, a barrel containing a body showed up in Lake Mead. Less than a week later, separate skeletal remains surfaced. Elsewhere where droughts are occurring, similar dead bodies are literally popping up out of the earth.
In the third and last part of this teaching about the end times sign of nature as it relates to extreme weather, we will look to the book of Revelation to see how God will use natural disasters to judge the world during the coming Tribulation period.