The South and Midwest United States have seen an unprecedented amount of natural disasters in the past week. From extreme heat and flooding in Kentucky to a severe tornado in North Carolina, communities continue to feel the devastating effects of these disasters.
On Wednesday, a powerful tornado ripped through the area surrounding a large Pfizer pharmaceutical plant near Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The plant stores large quantities of medicine used in US hospitals, and much of it was tossed about by the severe winds. According to Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone, 50,000 pallets of medicine were affected in the storm.
Pfizer confirmed that the plant sustained major damage, but all employees were safely evacuated and accounted for. No reports of serious injuries have been made. While Pfizer assesses the situation, a University of Utah Health director suggests that it may lead to long-term medicine shortages for US hospitals.
Elsewhere in the country, torrential rain continues to flood parts of Kentucky, while areas spanning California to South Florida have endured record-high temperatures. Forecasters expect these severe weather conditions to persist for the next few days, impacting people across the United States.
A Bloomberg report blames the crazy weather (heatwaves to rain) on the “Jet Stream.”
The Jet streams are narrow bands of strong wind in the upper levels of the atmosphere, typically occurring around 30,000 feet and move from west to east.
Apparently, they are taking a break this year.
Scientists Jennifer Francis of the Woodwell Climate Research Center in Massachusetts said that the Jet Stream is “unusually stuck in place.”
Forecasts show that the wind current is “cemented” in place and forecast it’s causing “multiple devastating heat domes and flooding events in the Northern Hemisphere.”
The pressure systems are “like a chain,” said Paul Pastelok, senior meteorologist at commercial forecaster AccuWeather Inc. “It is kind of like a lock and chain — everything is connected all the way across.”