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National Weather Service

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Tornadoes can form anytime of year, but occur most frequently in April, May, and June, due to favorable weather conditions. Earlier this week a massive 200-mile-per-hour EF5 tornado hit Moore, Okla., killing some two dozen people, damaging thousands of structures, and causing an estimated $2 billion in damage. This year, twisters have already touched down in Kansas, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and Alabama. ( 46 photos total)
A woman carries a child through a field near the collapsed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., on May 20. A tornado as much as half a mile wide with winds up to 200 mph roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press)     

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Hurricane Isaac sidestepped New Orleans on Wednesday, sending the worst of its howling wind and heavy rain into a cluster of rural fishing villages that had few defenses against the slow-moving storm that could bring days of unending rain. Isaac arrived exactly seven years after Hurricane Katrina and passed slightly to the west of New [...]

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Yesterday was the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day of the year when the sun was at its highest point in the sky. People around the world are welcoming the start of the new season by enjoying (or avoiding) the hot weather. In southern England, where yesterday brought heavy rains, pagans gathered at Stonehenge and reveled in spite of the downpour. Collected here are a handful of images of the beginning of Summer, 2012. [31 photos]

A Bengal tiger, sprayed with water by a zookeeper on a hot summer day at the Birsa Munda Zoological Park in Ranchi, India, on May 30, 2012. Zoo authorities are helping the animals cope with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius (104F) by providing coolers, special roofs and regular hose-downs. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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US Wind Patterns

Nicolas Garcia Belmonte, author of the JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit, mapped 72 hours of weather data from 1,200 stations across the country.

Gathering the data from the National Weather Service was pretty interesting, I didn’t know USA had so many weather stations! The visualization shows wind direction encoded in line angles, wind speed encoded in line lengths and disk radius, and temperature encoded in hue.

Press play, and watch it glow. You can also easily switch between symbols: discs with lines, lines only, or filled circles.

[Nicolas Garcia Belmonte via @janwillemtulp]

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A man rides a horse through a bonfire in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, in honor of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals. On the eve of Saint Anthony’s Day, hundreds ride their horses trough the narrow cobblestone streets of the small village of San Bartolome during the “Luminarias,” a [...]

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Billy Stinson (L) comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, North Carolina. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed yesterday by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. “We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset,” said Erin afterward.

Hurricane Irene moved along the east coast causing heavy flooding damage as far north as Vermont and shutting down the entire New York mass transit system.

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Shannan Bowen / Wilmington Star-News via AP

A funnel cloud in Wilmington, N.C., on Thursday, Aug. 18. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Southern New Hanover County until 11 a.m. The Weather Service also confirmed that there are numerous water spouts off the coast of Southeastern North Carolina. The Carolina Beach Police Department has reported that two water spouts came in and touched the ground in the Alabama Avenue vicinity.

See more weather-realted images on PhotoBlog here.

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Extreme weather events have always been with us, and always will be. One can't point to a single severe storm, or even an entire harsh winter, as evidence of climate change. But a trend of weather intensity, and oddity, grows. Droughts linger longer. Hurricanes hit harder. Snowstorms strike long after winter should have ended. World record hailstones fall. China endures a crippling drought, and then punishing floods. Millions are displaced in a flood of historic proportion in Pakistan. The U.S. sees the Mississippi River reach historic flood crests, and then sees the largest wildfire in Arizona history. None of these events on their own mean anything. Collectively, do they mean we're seeing the earth's climate change before our eyes? -- Lane Turner (47 photos total)
A huge swath of the United States is affected by a winter storm that brought layers of dangerous ice and blowing snow, closing roads and airports from Texas to Rhode Island in this February 1 satellite image. The storm's more than 2,000-mile reach threatened to leave about a third of the nation covered in harsh weather. Ice fell first and was expected to be followed by up to two feet of snow in some places. (NOAA/AP)

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Deadly storms struck again yesterday in the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. It was a storm system that followed the massive, highest-rated EF5 twister that struck Joplin, Mo., on Sunday. The Joplin twister, which killed more than 120 people, is the eighth deadliest storm on record in the United States dating back to 1840. This year's tornado season has produced approximately 1,000 twisters and has taken the lives of more than 300 people. -- Lloyd Young
(36 photos total)
Debbie Surlin salvages items from her parent's home in Joplin, Mo. Wednesday, May 25, 2011. The home's residents Beverly and Roy Winans rode out the EF-5 tornado by hiding under a bed in the home. The tornado tore through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 123 people. (Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)

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With one month of the season left before the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, take a look at the cold, snowy days of the last couple months.

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