UPDATED: Extreme Weather Takes Over America

UPDATE June 29, 2012: Nature’s fury continues to wreak havoc across the US. The Colorado Waldo Canyon wildfire—officially the worst ever in state history—is leaving a wasteland in its wake, according to the Colorado Springs mayor. (Read all about the Colorado fires in our explainer here.)

 Meanwhile, it’s hot as hell almost everywhere in the country, but historic torridity is creeping east. Sweltering temperatures have shattered Dust Bowl era records. At least two people may have died from excessive heat. Oh, and good luck breathing this weekend, Maryland. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Debby, which pelted northern Florida with more than 20 inches of wet despair, has claimed seven lives. Perhaps June is the cruelest month.

June 28, 2012 - It was 103 degrees in Memphis, Tenn.  Mike Maple/The Commercial Appeal/ZUMAPressJune 28, 2012 – It was 103 degrees in Memphis, Tenn. Mike Maple/The Commercial Appeal/ZUMAPress

June 27, 2012 -  Port Richey, Fla. residents were evacuated from their mobile home park in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Debby. Brendan Fitterer/Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPressJune 27, 2012 – Port Richey, Fla. residents were evacuated from their mobile home park in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Debby. Brendan Fitterer/Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPress


June 22, 2009: The Supreme Court’s upcoming health-care ruling, Sandusky’s trial by jury, and this 68-year-old, bullied bus monitor aside, the big news everyone seems to be talking about this week is WTF is up with our nation’s weather?

In northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin, three days of torrential downpour forced nearly 300 people from their homes, drowned more than a dozen zoo animals, and caused $80 million in infrastructure damage. Fifteen large, uncontained fires are blazing in 10 states; in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, deadly conflagrations have scorched more than 400,000 acres of land. On the other side of the country, a giant heat wave is engulfing the Northeast and parts of the Great Plains.

The map below should give you some indication of the past week’s crazy weather forecast. Click on the colored markers for more detailed information about record-breaking temperatures and precipitation and the status of current wildfire suppression efforts.

Sources: National Climate Data Center via Wunderground.com; USDA Forest Service Active Fire Mapping Program, June 22, 2012

Want a closer look at weather patterns and extremes in your area? Read Julia Whitty’s post on Weather Underground, and make your own interactive map here.

Here are some photos from this week’s weather weirdness.

June 20, 2012 - Flooding in Duluth, Minn. has torn up area roads.  Brian Peterson/Minneapolis Star Tribune/ZUMAPressJune 20, 2012 – Flooding in Duluth, Minn. has torn up area roads. Brian Peterson/Minneapolis Star Tribune/ZUMAPressJune 20, 2012 - A wildfire blazes behind St. Anthony Catholic Church in Sandia Pueblo, N. Mex.  Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal/ZUMAPressJune 20, 2012 – A wildfire blazes behind St. Anthony Catholic Church in Sandia Pueblo, N. Mex. Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal/ZUMAPress

June 21, 2012 - A mother and her son try to beat the heat while waiting for a bus in Baltimore, Md.  Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/ZUMAPressJune 21, 2012 – A mother and her son try to beat the heat while waiting for a bus in Baltimore, Md. Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/ZUMAPress

What was the weather like in your part of town? Let us know in the comments.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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