It is hard to believe that 2013 is over. Many people are breathing a sigh of relief, hoping that 2014 will be a better year. In 2013, we had a full share of floods, drought, tornadoes, and tropical cyclones that hit in various places across the globe. In today’s reality, finding footage of weather extremes is becoming easier thanks to smart phones and social media websites. Once an amazing video is shared, it can easily become viral within a couple of hours.
Here’s a compilation of some of the most interesting, captivating, scary, and intense weather videos of 2013. There are plenty to choose from, and I am sure I left out some incredible videos. If you know of other videos that are better, feel free to share. Here’s my list (in no order) of the craziest weather stories and videos of 2013. Who knows what 2014 will have in store for us!
Super Typhoon Haiyan
Super Typhoon Haiyan was definitely the number one weather story around the world for 2013. It packed sustained winds that were estimated to be around 200 miles per hour. It produced 20-foot storm surge and practically destroyed parts of the Philippines. The Category 5 storm made landfall on November 8 with a symmetric eye. It is estimated that over 6,000 people died from this storm, with another 1,000-2,000 people missing. Check out some of the footage taken on the day it slammed into Tacloban, below.
Inside a tornado
Overall, tornado numbers were not very high for 2013. However, May 2013 was an active period for the central United States. How can you forget about the Moore, Oklahoma tornado or the El Reno, Oklahoma tornado that killed four storm chasers? On May 27, 2013, TIV (Tornado Intercept Vehicle) was hit by a large wedge tornado. If you want to see what it was like to be in a tornado, then watch this video. Amazing to see, but also incredibly dangerous.
Moore, Oklahoma tornado:
It is hard to believe another EF-5 tornado would strike the same place twice within a decade. However, on May 20, 2013, another EF-5 tornado struck parts of Moore and Newcastle, Oklahoma. Since this storm occurred during daylight hours, local media was able to show the tornado live on television. Watch this spectacular footage, below, showing the tornado that ended up killing more than 20 people.
November 17, 2013 U.S. tornado outbreak
A large severe weather outbreak occurred on November 17, 2013. Damage was estimated at nearly 1.6 billion dollars, making it the most expensive November tornado outbreak ever recorded. The outbreak consisted of 106 tornado reports across the U.S. Midwest. The video below, from the November 17 tornado outbreak, shows a violent tornado that hit Washington, Illinois.
Colorado experienced some extreme weather in 2013. Rain never arrived when they needed it. Unfortunately, when it finally showed up, it showed up with a vengeance. Parts of Denver and Colorado Springs received epic amounts of rain in a short span of time. Many spots received rainfall totals adding up to over 10 inches. The flooding event was enhanced due to the dry conditions experienced in the summer. High amounts of moisture trained over the same places producing widespread flooding in the area. The heavy rains were considered a one-thousand-year flood event.
Strong storms in Europe
Europe has been bombarded with a series of strong storms over the past month. These storms have had pressures equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane. With strong winds and heavy rain and snow, these storms have definitely created havoc across parts of northern Europe. Here’s an interesting video showing you how strong the winds were across Norway.
Pile up of cars
What happens when you are driving on a busy highway with snow and ice on the roads? Well, you pretty much get this. This is an amazing and scary video from Germantown, Wisconsin on December 8 showing piles and piles of cars hitting each other. The first major problem is the speed of the vehicles on the roads. They should have been driving much more slowly. Once you begin to watch this video, you can’t take your eyes off it.
Bottom line: 2013 had some incredibly active weather. We saw incredible video of violent tornadoes in the United States, storm surge from Super Typhoon Haiyan that was eerily similar to a tsunami, and incredible flooding in Colorado. What will 2014 bring to the globe? Based on the past decade, I am positive we will see more disasters. Time will only tell.
Matt Daniel is weekend Meteorologist for 13WMAZ (CBS) in Macon, Georgia, and founder of the blog Athens GA Weather. He's a self-described "big weather and music geek" and has produced weather content for CNN, MSN Weather and EarthSky. He has a passion for helping to keep people safe when severe weather strikes and says if you don't have a NOAA Weather Radio ... you should get one.