POLITICS
10/05/2015 08:41 pm ET Updated Jan 05, 2017

2015 Has Been A Year Of Record-Breaking U.S. Weather Events

Floods, droughts, hurricanes, fires -- and it's not over.

Catastrophic flooding in South Carolina since last week shattered state rainfall records and shocked longtime residents and officials, who said they've never seen rain so powerful. But it's hardly the first extreme, record-breaking weather event in the U.S. this year.

Floods, hurricanes, wildfires and other extreme events are becoming more frequent and more intense because of climate change, experts warn, and that's never been more apparent than in 2015.

Here's a look at some of the record-breaking weather-related events that have hit the U.S. this year.

  • California snowpack at all-time recorded low
    In April, drought-stricken California&nbsp;witnessed a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/01/california-mandatory
    Max Whittaker via Getty Images
    In April, drought-stricken California witnessed a snowpack with virtually no snow and set an all-time recorded low in the Sierra Nevada mountains. At just 6 percent of the long-term average for that time of year, the snowpack measure shattered the previous low of 25 percent set in 1977 and again in 2014. Gov. Jerry Brown, pictured above with Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the California Department of Water Resources, announced that same day that there would be mandatory, statewide water cutbacks for the first time in history.
  • Record-breaking Boston snow didn't melt until July.
    Boston&nbsp;recorded its&nbsp;<a href="http://www.weather.com/news/news/new-england-boston-record-snow-tracker">all-time snow
    Boston Globe via Getty Images
    Boston recorded its all-time snowiest year, with 110.6 inches between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015. In what grew to be an ominous reminder of how miserable the winter was, the once 75-foot-high, trash-covered "snow farm," where plows corralled the ice, didn't melt until July 14. You could even follow the snow pile on Twitter.
  • Record-breaking heat scorches the U.S.
    Multiple states have broken&nbsp;heat records as 2015 shapes up to be the hottest year on record. Florida recorded its <a hre
    David McNew via Getty Images
    Multiple states have broken heat records as 2015 shapes up to be the hottest year on record. Florida recorded its hottest March to May, while California -- seen above with tourists in Death Valley this summer -- Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington all logged their hottest Junes.
  • Wettest month ever recorded leads to extreme flooding
    May was the all-time wettest month ever recorded in the&nbsp;contiguous United States in&nbsp;121 years of <a href="https://w
    AP Photo/David J. Phillip
    May was the all-time wettest month ever recorded in the contiguous United States in 121 years of NOAA's record-keeping. The total rainfall of 4.36 inches was 1.45 inches above average. Nowhere was the wet weather more extreme than in Texas and Oklahoma, where precipitation totaled more than twice the long-term average. Flooding claimed 23 lives and forced people like the above Houston couple to navigate roadways by boat.

    In September, extreme flash floods along the Utah and Arizona border claimed 20 lives, making it the deadliest flood in Utah state history and one of the deadliest weather events of the year.
  • The U.S. gets its earliest tropical storm in 60 years.
    Tropical Storm Ana became the second-earliest tropical or subtropical storm to make landfall in the U.S. when it hit&nbsp;Sou
    Handout via Getty Images
    Tropical Storm Ana became the second-earliest tropical or subtropical storm to make landfall in the U.S. when it hit South Carolina on May 10. The only tropical storm to make a landfall earlier than that was in Florida in February 1952. While Ana didn't break the record, meteorologists at The Weather Channel noted that there has been an increasing frequency of tropical storms hitting before June 1 in the last decade.  (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
  • California wildfires break spending records
    The catastrophic <a href="http://www.weather.com/safety/wildfires/news/western-wildfires-latest-news">Butte Fire and Valley F
    Stephen Lam via Getty Images
    The catastrophic Butte Fire and Valley Fire that started in Northern California last month were so intense that the U.S. Forest Service broke its record for spending in a single week, $243 million. The high cost of fighting the simultaneous wildfires prompted the Obama administration to direct $250 million toward the efforts.
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