Special Report

The Rarest Types of Weather on Earth

Earth’s climate systems are extraordinarily complex, producing every moment of the day weather and climate conditions of all varieties. Predicting the weather even a few days into the future remains an imperfect science riddled with challenges only made larger by climate change. 

24/7 Wall St. compiled a list of 21 rare weather events. We concentrated on the most surprising and infrequently occurring weather patterns — be they unusual varieties of catastrophic storms such as cyclones in the Mediterranean Sea, or spectacular visual phenomena such as ball lightning.

Some of these unusual weather events appear to be occurring with greater frequency as shifts in the Earth’s climate continue to accelerate. Here is a list of places where the weather is getting worse because of climate change.

Last year was the second hottest recorded year on Earth and the second wettest year on record for the United States. (Here are the hottest cities in every state, and the rainiest cities in the United States). 

Unusual high pressure zones in 2013 blocked or diverted storms off the coast of California, leading to one of the worst droughts in the state’s history. Unusually destructive wildfires in subsequent years were also attributed by meteorologists to increased occurrences of atmospheric blocking.

Record high temperatures and unusual precipitation events such as these, as well as the more rare weather events such as nacreous clouds that form from methane concentrations and atmospheric blocking events in the jet stream are all becoming increasingly common as climate change progresses.

Click here to see the rarest types of weather on Earth.