SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – New England can see some wild weather during the spring and summer months. From hurricanes and tornadoes to rip currents and flooding… we’re covering the weather that can impact your life from now through the fall.

Here are some of the stories you’ll hear about in the video player above:

Tornadoes in New England

When thunderstorms become severe they are capable of producing tornadoes. On average, four to five tornadoes touch down in Massachusetts each year. While most of the tornadoes we get tend to be on the weak side, there have been a number of very destructive and even deadly tornadoes that have affected us here in western Massachusetts.

It was 11 years ago that one of the most devastating tornadoes to touch down in New England carved a 38 mile long path of destruction through western Massachusetts. We take a look back at that tornado and some others that have affected us here in western Massachusetts.

Climate Change Across the Globe

You might not always think about it, but overtime we are seeing and feeling its effects even here in Western Massachusetts.

The global average temperature is rising at an alarming rate creating poor conditions for human health, ecosystems and agriculture. Since the early 1900s, the global average temperature has increased by one degree Celsius which is equivalent to one point eight degrees Fahrenheit. Current CO2 emissions are tracking higher than expected, meaning we could hit the global two degree Celsius threshold by 2050.

How Climate Change affects the Pioneer Valley

There is no doubt that our changing climate is affecting the weather here in the pioneer valley. That’s why our cities and towns are investing now to be ready for the climate of the future.

“We’re all preparing at the city for the understanding that we are going to be experiencing more severe and frequent weather disasters and impacts. This is part of preparing for that, insuring that our infrastructure is where it needs to be, to withstand those impacts,” said Tina Quagliato Sullivan, Director of Disaster Recovery for the City of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Hurricanes in New England

The Northeast is no stranger to hurricanes and we could see those storms become more powerful as time goes on.

The start of hurricane season is less than a month away. The past two years have been quite active in New England. We are no strangers to tropical storms, or the occasional Category 1 or 2 hurricane. But because of our cooler waters, it’s quite rare that we see major hurricanes, that means winds higher than 111 mph.

Category 5 hurricanes are rare, but with the Atlantic and Caribbean waters trending warmer, we have seen stronger storms over the past decade.

Preparing for more intense storms means making sure infrastructure can withstand stronger winds coupled with higher storm surge.

Dr. Richard Olson is the Director of Extreme Events Research at FIU, “I don’t want anyone to be facing a question in 20 years from somebody saying, “You knew about this, and you didn’t have a research and testing facility for infrastructure, for homes, for electrical systems, grids?!”

New England Beaches

New England has some of the best beaches in the world. The ocean is beautiful but it can also be dangerous.

Lifeguards are constantly monitoring people on the beach and in the water. At the same time, they’re patrolling ocean conditions keeping a close eye out for rip currents.

Mark Liptak is a lifeguard captain at Scarborough, “Basically the water comes in and let’s say you hit a sandbar or whatnot, the water’s got nowhere to go so it has to go out, channels outwards, either laterally or perpendicularly to the shore.”

Flooding in New England

From river flooding to tropical storms, New England has seen one federally-declared disaster per year since 2000 and that severe weather can mean trouble for agricultural businesses.

Flooding has touched the lives of thousands here in northern New England as our rivers wind along our hallow valleys. Tropical Storm Irene is a phrase that can send shivers down a Vermonters spine… but more recently the Halloween rain storm of 2019 sent our rivers over their banks washing out roads and people livelihoods.

Unfortunately for folks that live along our windy rivers, these instances of extreme rainfall aren’t anticipated to stop. In fact according to Vermont’s 2021 climate assessment report, there is very high confidence that heavy precipitation events have and will continue to increase in the state.