- 2021 had many bizarre aspects to its weather.
- The year’s most bizarre events were at each end of the temperature spectrum.
- The hurricane season also had its fair share of strange events.
2021’s weather is remembered primarily for two deadly outbreaks extreme temperatures, a particularly powerful hurricane that made landfall, and two severe storms in December.
These were just a handful of the weather anomalies for 2021.
We ranked the 21 most bizarre weather events of the year, mostly in the United States. We love weird weather so we have a large list of honorable mentions.
(PREVIOUS YEARS 2020 | 2019 | 2018)
21. Donut-Shaped Hail
The day following Labor Day, I came across an image of a hailstone I had never seen before.
The below photo of the Cheerio- or donut-shaped hailstone was taken by Verona, Wisconsin’s Madison suburb.
“I have seen stones that had a very thin interior structure and could have melted quicker if they were sat on the ground, leaving a donut shape. But not this clearly defined,” said Ian Giammanco hail expert and meteorologist with the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. replyYou can tweet it at the same time.
20. Flood Devastation in Washington, British Columbia
November was a record-breaking month, even in the otherwise soggy Pacific Northwest.
Massive flooding was caused by torrential rains from an atmospheric river in southern British Columbia and far northern Washington state. Several towns suffered at least some flooding, including Abbotsford in British Columbia and Sumas and Lynden in Washington.
Landslides closed all exit routes from Hope, B.C. and cut off access to the Port of Vancouver. Parts of Highway 5 – known as the Coquihalla Highway – collapsed. Four people were killed in a landslide south of Lillooet on Highway 99, B.C.
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November was the wettest month in Bellingham (Washington), at 14.57 inches. It was also the second-wettest in Vancouver, B.C. (12.3 inches).
Perhaps the most impressive was aerial footage taken after light snowfall in British Columbia.
Later in the countdown, there will be more information from British Columbia and Pacific Northwest.
19. Tornadic Year in Pennsylvania, New Jersey
We are used to tracking tornadoes across the South, Plains and Midwest. However, 2021 was an active year for tornadoes within the mid-Atlantic.
The July 29th outbreak was responsible for 14 tornadoes occurring in Pennsylvania and six in New Jersey. One tornado occurred in the northeast Philadelphia suburbs.
Another seven tornadoesNew Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania were the first to be spawned by remnants of Hurricane Ida. This included an EF3 tornado that struck Mullica Hill, New Jersey’s third F/EF3 tornado for 31 years.
On Oct. 15, 16, and 21 of October, 13 tornadoes struck west Pennsylvania. According to the National Weather Service, this increased the state’s 2021 tornado count to 44, the second-highest total of any year.
According to New Jersey’s climate office, 13 tornadoes had already been confirmed in the state in 2021 as of the publication date. This is the second-most tornadoes in any year since 1950, after 1989’s 19 Garden State storms. From 2001 through 2020, the state saw an average of one-to two tornadoes per calendar year.
One of these tornadoes was deadly – an EF2 tornado that downed a tree on a home in the northwest Philadelphia suburbs.
18. Lightning Blasts Concrete, Driver Injured
According to a 2004 study by lightning researchers E. Phillip Krider & Kenneth Kehoe there is a 10% chance that lightning strikes within 250 yards of a U.S. citizen each and every year.
However, May’s events in the Florida Panhandle were extremely unlucky.
As the tweet belowLays out, lightning struck Interstate 10 in Walton County. The bolt blew out a chunk concrete which then went through a pickup truck’s windshield, injuring both the driver, and the passenger.
(VIDEO: Lightning Sends Concrete Flying Through Windshield)
Numerous lightning strikes have occurred on vehicles.
If the windows are rolled up, you’re usually protected. You should not touch anything metallic that is attached to the vehicle’s frames, such as a door handle or radio.
The National Lightning Safety Institute suggests that you pull off to the side and turn off the engine. Instead of holding the steering wheel, place your hands on your lap and wait for the storm to pass.
17. The strongest and longest tornadoes of 2021 were in December
Meteorologists refer only to “violent” storms as those rated at EF4 or higher on the Enhanced Fujita scale. They account for half of all deaths from tornadoes in the United States, but they make up a small fraction of all tornadoes.
Since 1950, most of these deadly tornadoes have occurred in the spring and early summer. The year’s first EF4 tornado was the Newnan tornado, which occurred on March 25, in Georgia.
The two other severe tornadoes that hit 2021 were in December.
One of them ripped through parts of Kentucky on December 10. EF4 damage was detected in Mayfield, a community that was devastated by the storm. It was estimated that winds reached 190 mph with a damage path of 166 m.
Another EF4 tornadoThe same supercell thunderstorm that ripped along an 80-mile stretch from far northeastern Arkansas through the Missouri Bootheel to extreme western Tennessee, spawned the two.
It was the deadliest tornado outbreak in the United States in 10 years. At least 92 people were killed, and 77 were injured in Kentucky.
There were stories of survival. Two Kentucky sheriff’s deputies saved a girl after they had to make a very difficult call.
(MORE: Tornado Outbreak Recap)
16. A March Tornado in Vermont
Most likely, Tornadoes are not the first, third or fourth thing that comes to your mind when you mention Vermont.
One tornado is reported annually in Vermont. Because Vermont is so far north, it’s not surprising that tornadoes in Vermont occur in summer.
However, in March, there was an increase in the number of people who are able to access the internet. EF1 tornadoA detached garage was taken from a Vermont home near Middlebury. Two people were hurt.
This tornado, embedded within a line of severe storms, was only the second March tornado that the state has recorded, and it dates back to 1950.
(WATCH: First March Tornado in Vermont in Over 65 Years)
15. Snowless Denver continues into December
A fall snowstorm in the Front Range of the Rockies can be one of the few guaranteed weather conditions. But not in 2021 on Colorado’s Front Range.
Not even a dusting.
Denver didn’t receive even a tenth inch of snow during November for the first time since records began in 1882. That streak ended on Dec. 10.
Denver was covered in snow on Sept. 8, 2020. This was its second-earliest ever fall snowfall and one day after dense wildfire smoke blanketed most of the Front Range.
This made 2020 our strangest year.
14. 100 Degrees in North Dakota Late September
Late-September triple-digit heat is typical in Texas – not North Dakota.
On Sept. 28, two locations in western North Dakota – near Dickinson and Watford City – soared to 100 degrees.
Below is a tweet from the National Weather Service stating that it was the latest year in which any North Dakota city has reached triple digits.
But it was more than that.
According to Christopher Burt, a weather historian and expert in weather records, it was also the northernmost triple-digit reading in the entire Northern Hemisphere. Maximiliano Herrera.
13. Fighting Fire instead of Making Snow
As the Caldor Fire was moving towards Lake Tahoe in California, officials turned on snow machines at area ski resorts to wet and increase the humidity.
Photographer Josh Edelson captured some of the most amazing photos in 2021, as the snow machines at the Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort were running full-blast.
Fire crews were able to stop the spread of the fire from reaching the ski resorts and towns around the lake.
However, the Caldor Fire still blazed 346 square miles and destroyed around 1,000 structures before it was finally contained in late October.
12. Siberian Wildfire smoke reaches North Pole
2021 was another year of destructive wildfires in Russia.
They erupted in Siberia’s spring early. They had blazed the largest area ever recorded in Russia during the satellite era by summer.
In late summer, around 200 active Siberian fires covered about 62,000 square miles – about the size of Florida, and larger than all other combined active wildfires burning around the globe at the time.
This led to an amazing occurrence: wildfire smoke traveled over 1,800 kilometres from Siberia to North Pole. NASA satellites recorded this in the first week.
NASA later refuted that statement saying that it was not possible to determine the exact date of the first Siberian wildfire smoke erupting over the North Pole.
A “zombie flame” was seen in Siberia’s “Pole of Cold” snowpack, December 2012.
11. Hypothermia is a Death in the Head
A slow-moving thunderstorm rained torrential rain and hail on the Mexico City metro area in early July.
Streets quickly become rivers, which can pose dangers to motorists and anyone trying to walk through floodwaters.
Flooding also caused large piles hail to form, and it was in this pile that a person became trapped and died of hypothermia.
Although hailstorms that have struck China, India, and Bangladesh in the past were deadly, hailstorms that hit North America are rare. About two dozen people are hurt each year in the U.S.
This is due to the impact that falling hail has on the body. Hypothermia from hailstorms is not something we can immediately recall.
(VIDEO: Mexico City Flooding, Hailstorm Traps Many, Kills 1)
10. 2021’s Most Dangerous Rainfall Shift
Sacramento, California received just 0.01 inches of rain between mid-March and mid-October.
California’s dry season is summer, but it was the city’s. record-longest dry streak, which had stood since 1880 – six years after the state’s capitol building was completed.
A week later, the strongest Eastern Pacific bomb cyclone hit an extremely strong atmospheric river and dumped 5.44inches of rain over the city. This was the city’s wettest day since records began in the Gold Rush.
It’s difficult to imagine a stronger precipitation lurch.
9. North America’s Largest Fire Thunderstorm
Some wildfires can burn hot enough that they create their own thunderstorms, known as pyrocumulonimbus cloud.
What happened in Western Canada during the record-breaking heat wave of June and July was something else.
On June 30, a thunderstorm generated by fire erupted above the Sparks Lake Fire in British Columbia. NASA says the cloud grew to more than 62,000 miles, roughly the size of Georgia. It was the largest pyrocumulonimbus clouds ever recorded in North America.
Just under a foot of the massive firestorm generated by the massive firestorm 113,000 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in 15 hoursAccording to Chris Vagasky (a lightning expert at Vaisala), it’s about. Vagasky pointed out that there are about 5% of the average annual lightning in Canada.
Two weeks later, a team comprising scientists and meteorologists documented 10 firestorms in central Canada on July 16, making it the most common observation in North America in the eight years of their study.
These massive fire storms can not only cause more wildfires by lightning strikes but can also pump smoke high into an atmosphere that can cool and linger near the fires.
8. Thunderstorms Flush Scorpions Into Homes
Among all the dangers associated with thunderstorms, scorpions don’t often make the cut.
But, in November, heavy rains in southern Egypt swept scorpions from their nests and into their homes.
After being stung, at least three people died and more than 450 were hospitalized.
This is a very rare issue in this part the world.
We’ll spare the visuals for now, but if this story interests you, you can watch our video below.
7. 1.200 Years of the Earliest Cherry Blossoms
People who were waiting for spring in Japan came up with unusually early wishes in 2021.
According to Osaka Prefecture University data, the cherry blossom bloom in Kyoto, Japan reached its peak on March 26, which is the earliest date recorded in records dating back to the ninth century. This is two to three weeks earlier that the average.
This could be a sign that there is climate change.
Climate scientist James Hansen claims that Japan’s March temperatures have risen by approximately 5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century.
According to NOAA, Japan’s March 2021 was the warmest on record.
6. Rain Falls on Greenland’s Ice Cap Peaks
Even in the middle of the summer, there is still a lot of cold places around the world that are too cold to receive rain.
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, rain was seen at Greenland’s highest point on the ice cap on Aug. 14.
Summit Station, a staffed research station located at 10,551 feet above sea-level in the heart Greenland, received rain for several hours.
Another Greenland warm spell in July saw temperatures soar into the upper 60s, a record for the region.
Both are alarming signs of a warming climate. A recent study has shown that Greenland is likely to lose more ice in the next century than it did in 12,000 years. This could lead to sea level rise of feet.
5. Louisiana Landfalls of Category 4 in Back-toback Years
After three hurricane landfalls in 2020, you would think that Louisiana would be able to recover in 2021.
Just one year ago, Hurricane Laura ravaged southwestern Louisiana. Hurricane Ida hit southeastern Louisiana on 29 August.
It was the first Category 4 landfall in Louisiana in two years. One had not landed in the Pelican state since Betsy in 1965, prior to Laura and Ida.
The other two – Last Island (1856) and Chenier Caminada (1893) – were in the 19th century.
4. Ida’s Prolific Northeast Deluge
Louisiana was already suffering from the devastating effects of Ida. The remnant of Ida met up with a frontal storm in the Northeast.
Infrastructure in the New York City Tri-State Area was overwhelmed by the September 1 deluge of up to 11 inches. Roads were transformed into rivers, subways were flooded like geysers and buses were filled with water up to the seats. Newark Liberty International Airport was also flooded.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 53 people drowned due to drowning in Northeast from Ida. Twenty-eight drowning victims died in New Jersey while 18 were in New York.
Ida also caused tornadoes in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and one of them triggered extremely rare simultaneous tornado-flash flood emergencies in Bucks County.
(FULL RECAP Ida’s Historic Northeast Rain)
3. December Derecho, Upper Midwest
Five days after Winter Storm Atticus dumped up to 21 inches of snow, an outbreak of severe thunderstorms raked the Upper Midwest with destructive winds and tornadoes – in December.
This outbreak was responsible for Minnesota’s first ever December tornadoes, according to records dating back to 1950. In Minnesota, there was only one severe storm warning issued in December.
The criteria for a derecho was met by the line of severe thunderstorms that travelled from Kansas and Nebraska to Wisconsin. According to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, only 1% of all derechos occur in December.
It looked as if the heat, rain, and severe thunderstorms had ended the night before. taken a large bite out of the Upper Midwest’s snowpack.
(MORE: The Most Strange Things About the December Windstorm or Severe Outbreak)
This second outbreak, which occurred in five days, shattered the nation’s December monthly tornado records.
2. February’s Crippling Cold Wave
Some cold outbreaks are quite severe and uncomfortable. What happened in the South during February was fatal, crippling, and destructive.
From February 7th to February 20th, a two-week-long siege of cold and snow on the Plains resulted in over 9,000 cold records being set or tied.
(FULL RECAP Record-Breaking Cold Siege)
This led to a chain of power outages that left 10 million customers without power for several days. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TX Department of State Health Services), an estimated 210 people died due to carbon monoxide poisoning and cold exposure.
Water pipes burst when they freeze, causing damage to homes and buildings. One family in Austin, Texas filled a bathtub with snow, hoping to use it to flush the toilets. Indoor ceiling fans created cicles.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, at least 3.8 million fish died from the cold along Texas’s coast. Thousands of sea turtles were saved and released from the frigid Gulf of Mexico.
Snow and ice only made it worse. It snowed in Galveston for the first-time in 12 years. Del Rio, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley, saw its snowiest day ever (11.2 inches) on February 18.
This cold siege caused damage of just under $21 billion. It was the most expensive U.S. winter storm in NOAA’s records dating back to 1980.
1. June’s Deadly Heat Wave and Record-Smashing Heat Wave
This was a top-ranked list because of the severity and duration of an early-summer heatwave in an area that is often thought to be an escape from the scorching heat and its expensive toll.
Over 70 locations in the Northwest U.S.A. and western Canada tied or set new records during the last days of June.
You can find our full summary here. But, some of the most bizarre things we saw during this heatwave are:
-Lytton (British Columbia) shattered Canada’s all-time record. three days in a row, and was as scorching as Death Valley, California on June 29 (121° Fahrenheit), before it was razed to the ground the day after.
-Salem (Oregon) tied Las Vegas’ all time record high of 117 degrees, shattering their own record for the highest recorded temperature west of the Cascades.
-Quillayute, Washington, reached 110 degrees. The town had never previously reached 100° in records since 1966.
Three consecutive days of 100 degree heat at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle were experienced. They only had two such days before the heat wave, which dates back to 1945.
As with many heat waves, this event wasn’t just bizarre – it was deadly.
In Washington and Oregon, over 100 people died from heatstroke. British Columbia was home to at least 570 people who died. It was the deadliest weather event in Washington and Canada.
Five western states – California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah – had the hottest summer on record since 1880.
We thought there were other unusualities in the 2021 weather. They didn’t make it to the top 21, but we thought they deserved at least a mention. They are listed in approximate chronological order.
-Madrid (Spain) had its most snowfall since 1971.
-A Montana windstorm sent an silo on a wild ride.
-Saharan Sand Dunes were covered in snow.
-Behold, a Vermont “snownado.”
–Four separate supercell thunderstormsEach prompted tornado warnings to Selma, Alabama on St. Patrick’s Day.
-The same day, a tornado wrapped a boat around a treeAlabama
Flooding revealed an English Civil War Fort.
This family had no choice but to move out of its cabin.
-Flash flooding was observed near the towns of Hurricane and Tornado.
-When Pittsburgh’s three rivers had different colors.
New Orleans: Strange clouds hugged Mississippi River.
A Florida man had to shovel his walkway.
-News anchors fled from a tornado.
-A pilot documented St. Elmo’s Fire at Georgia.
Here’s what happened when you tried to pour coffee in high winds.
Watch an icy flood in the Saudi desert.
-When you golf cart has snow tires.
-Tornado + rainbow.
-Hail fell inside a Walmart.
-When the drought forced hatcheries into transporting salmon to sea,
-A 190-mph super typhoon – in April.
-A drone was caught in a tornado’s inflow.
-A giant California sequoia was still burning a year after a 2020 wildfire.
-A wildfire nearly destroyed a newsroom
-Here are the reasons this car was stuck in sand.
-It rained only on one side of this guy’s vehicle.
This tornado looked like an Atari joystick.
-Speaking of hailstones – one in Texas set a record.
This tornado was on top of a Colorado mountain.
-First May without an F/EF3+ Tornado since 1919.
-Why there was a green spot in a drought-suffering North Dakota field.
-When cave breathing was the cause of fog.
-A sea formed of spider webs following a flood.
-Claudette was named over land, then was reborn over land.
-See Thailand’s iridescent cloud of the cap.
-A man from Iowa made a snow angel in the summer.
-How lightning set off a fire in Gulf of Mexico
– The danger of a hair-raising British Beach
-A road was covered in 4 feet of mud for seven mile.
-A camera captured its own death in wildfire.
-Canadian summer coldfronts smoke, too.
2021 was the year that America had its hottest summer and Earth’s hottest month.
-Trapped inside a flooded elevator.
-A typhoon swept away a million-dollar pumpkin.
-A Greek “firenado”, sent a tree flying.
-Hurricane Larry’s posttropical “ghost”, pummeled Greenland.
-A rare flower that blooms in one the world’s most dry places.
–Smoky waves in the sky over Wyoming.
-A weird rope cloudSubmitted into future Hurricane Sam.
-Then, an unmanned Saildrone entered Hurricane Sam.
These California meteorologists were truly amazing excited over a drop of rain.
-Drought exposed a 130-year shipwreck – in North Dakota.
-Another hurricane season was canceled in October.
A wedding reception was swamped by flooding
-Over 7 inches of rain in an hour
-An Alaskan atmospheric stream isolated a town.
A volcano meets a landspout tornado.
These Washington goalposts were damaged by high winds.
What’s for dinner? A frying-pan tornado.
-Traversing through ankle deep hail in Spain
-Stranded by the blizzard for several days in an English pub
-A Turkish storm took a washer for a spin.
Watermelon snow sounds worse than it is.
-A tornado struck a school bus carrying the driver, and an RV flew on it.
-A Florida car was damaged by wind-driven coconuts.
Thepany’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story may not reflect the position or IBM as our parent company.