Watch CBSN Live

Weird Weather Strikes Again

Texans may not have been pleased to sweat through the fifteenth straight day over 100 degrees there Thursday, but at least they weren't surprised. Unlike people in other parts of the country, CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod reports, at least in Texas they know exactly what to expect from the weather.

They can't say that in Salt Lake City, where a tornado killed one and injured dozens Wednesday, the first recorded tornado death in Utah. Early readings clock the twister as an F-2, on a scale of one to five. Just four other F-2's are known to have ever hit the state.

"This is something that happens in Kansas, not here," remarks one Salt Lake City woman.

That's exactly the thinking in places like Long Island, N.Y. -- another unexpected tornado destination -- or in Minnesota, where high winds recently sheared 25 million trees.

The Southwest has seen 100 mph hail; crops in the Northeast are parched and burnt. In Seattle, where August lightning is usually harder to find than a weak cup of coffee, last week was thunderous. It seems an out-of-whack jet stream is pushing more cold air south, and warm air north.

"But the fact is when we look back in history, we've had every kind of storm that there is in every place," explains Meteorologist Bryan Norcross. "There is nothing happening today that hasn't happened before, and there's nothing happening today that hasn't been worse in the past."

That gives Washington state's world record June 1999 snowfall some perspective. For now, if you're looking for a good mystery this summer, the best bet might be the forecast in your local paper.

View CBS News In