With all this talk of saving the earth, sometimes it's easy to forget what our little planet is capable of. From extreme frost to tornadoes and monster sandstorms, it's amazing how often we find ourselves humbled by forces of nature. In addition to putting us in our place, they are incredible to experience, even if only through pictures.
In 2005, soldiers in Iraq were met with an expected attack, when a military base was overwhelmed by a massive sandstorm. The pictures are amazing, but check out the video footage, which shows the sky as it is totally blacked out.
If you want to travel to the wettest place in the world, you'll find it in Cherrapunji, Bangladesh, where it once rained 2290 cm in one season. The driest? The Atacama desert in Chile, which gets less than .004 inches/.01cm of rain per year. The coldest? Antarctica, at -129 degrees Fahrenheit. That's minus 129. Brrrr. The hottest? El Azizia in Libya, which reached a blistering 136 degrees Fahrenheit in 1922.
And how's this for a storm you'd want to be well clear of? The NOAA report that the hailstone pictured above was the size of a baseball. Imagine a whole sky full of them… I'm staying indoors. RM
Images: NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)