I was standing in front of the window of our small apartment. I could barely see it at my height. Perhaps it is one of my first memories. The sky was a purple and pink hue. It looked so pretty but Mom said there was a storm. You shouldn’t stand near a window in a storm.
A microburst is like a reverse tornado. Wind from a thunderstorm rushes down and out. In scientific terms, “air can rush towards the ground at speeds of 60 mph before impacting the surface and spreading out in all directions”. Three people were killed by the 1998 microburst in my hometown and ten were injured, primarily at the New York State Fairgrounds. News casts reported, “winds were 115 mph in the most seriously damaged areas…tens of thousands of trees were blown down. Damage was estimated at about 130 million dollars”.
While storms help the environment by monitoring atmospheric temperature and wind patterns, transferring sediment, and providing the ocean with fresh dissolved oxygen, extreme weather can be deadly to humankind. Global warming has been linked to a rise in both frequency and intensity of various kinds of storms. All one has to do is turn on the television to be reminded that droughts, wildfires, floods, and hurricanes are becoming more prevalent as time goes on. It is important to remain alert. Radio, television, and newspaper all communicate when danger is near. Those who sought cover underground during the microburst, like my sister, mom, dad, and I, were unscathed. On the contrary, the NYS Fairgrounds were particularly dangerous because of the flimsy infrastructures.
I would like to end this post on a positive note. While extreme weather is another confirmation of global climate change, it also should be motivation to halt negative impacts on our environment.