Tumbleweed invasion, wildfires and blizzards: US hit by extreme weather events

In recent days, a string of weather phenomena have impacted different parts of the United States, including a so-called 'tumblemageddon'.

What do wildfires, snow blizzards, and high winds each have in common?

Well, they’ve all been impacting thousands of residents across different parts of the United States in recent days.

Extreme weather events are becoming increasingly commonplace around the world, with climate change widely being credited for the trend.

Texas wildfires

A series of wildfires in Texas have so far destroyed more than one million acres of land, with firefighting services wrestling to bring the blazes under control.

US authorities have not revealed what started the fires, but strong winds, dry grasses and unseasonably warm temperatures for this time of year are thought to have been contributing factors.

Wildfires have ravaged rural parts of Texas recently. / Credit: AP

Emergency funding, equipment and personnel have been committed by the federal government to the state, a US Homeland Security spokesperson said.

The spokesperson told ITV News’ US partner, CNN, the fires are the largest in “Texas history”, adding: “We, as a country and as a world, have to be ready for the increasing effects of extreme weather caused by climate change.”

On Sunday, the National Weather Service issued a number of red flag warnings – representing extreme fire risk due to warm temperatures, low humidity and strong winds – across much of central America, including Texas and its neighboring states of New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Tumbleweed invasion

Residents in Nevada and Utah were hit by a so-called “tumblemageddon”, after high winds swept large numbers of the plants onto streets and nearby houses.

Videos shared on social media showed huge numbers of the invasive species blocking roads and piling up against properties.

Watch: High winds force swarms of tumbleweeds onto a main road in Nevada (Credit: Facebook / Ryan Muccio)

The city of South Jordan, Utah, was particularly impacted, with street crews instructed to clear roads swamped with tumbleweeds.

City authorities are asking anyone who has suffered emergency wind-related damage to report it to the city’s Public Works office.

California blizzards

Snow blizzards in northern California have caused widespread disruption throughout the state, shutting down roads and ski resorts in recent days.

A first storm arrived on Thursday and is forecast to be succeeded by a weaker storm between Monday and Wednesday.

Snow is cleared from a street in Truckee, California. / Credit: AP

Over the weekend, sections of Interstate 80 – the main route between Reno and Sacramento – were made impassable by snow drifts, with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) urging motorists to attach tire chains to their vehicles before setting off.

Palisades Tahoe, the largest resort north of Lake Tahoe and site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, was among several ski resorts that announced closures due to the blizzard.

“We will be digging out for the foreseeable future,” officials said on the resort’s blog.

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