Climate and Weather in the Bright Future

Under the influence of the Sun's Rage, planet Earth has become a much hotter place. The equatorial regions are nearly unbearable in heat and humidity, deserts have expanded radically, formerly arid regions have turned to deserts, the temperate has become tropical, the near-arctic has become temperate, and the arctic has shrunk.

Because of this shifting of climate and the resulting ice cap melt, the weather has become more violent. The collapse of technology in many areas has cost countless lives; virtually no one receives warning of dangerous weather conditions in time to prepare, evacuate, or otherwise react. Cyclones of all sorts are the most common deadly weather now: tropical, extratropical, tornado, and sandstorm.

Since the Sun's Return, the eastern coast of North America has been hit by at least six major hurricanes per year, while the west coast is battered by three or four. Typhoons apparently rip through the Pacific with alarming frequency, making ship travel in the tropical zones uncertain. Tornadoes dance through any area that can spawn them, and waterspouts spear the water with alarming frequency.

Before the Sun's Rage came to bear on the Earth, hurricanes in the north Atlantic usually struck the coast between Florida and the Carolinas. With the expansion of the tropical zone, the vulnerable areas for landfall have broadened and moved north; the Midatlantic and New England areas are just as likely to be slammed by a storm as Florida used to be. Severe extratropical cyclones are also more common, and generally sweep across the Great Lakes region in the center of the continent during the winter and spring.

There are rumors that the Great Storm of 2204, named Zelda (the last really consistently named storm), has never actually died out. Stories say that the Storm continues to circulate around the tropical Atlantic, strengthening sometimes, weakening others, but never ceasing to blow. As a result, in some areas of western Africa, Cape Verde, the Azores, the Caribbean, and the east coast of North America, any storm that is evidently a hurricane is called "Zelda." If it is a weak storm, people may say that it's one of Zelda's children or grandchildren, but any major damage-wreaking, killer hurricane must be Zelda. During the worst hurricane season (May through November), people travelling on the coast or islands may say things like, "I'm going over to do salvage trade in Bridge Town this week, Zelda willing."